Last week's Perspectives, Biotech Boldly Goes Where Only Science Fiction Has Gone Before, challenged readers to find 10 references to famous science fiction books, movies and TV shows hidden within the article.

The super-green reader to win our contest was Doug Grove, director of business development with Vaxin Inc., of Birmingham, Ala. He'll be receiving a free copy of the newly released BioWorld BioPartnering Report: Market Bellwethers and Success Dynamics. Now that's heavy!

Here's a list of the answers we were looking for:

  1. Title: Biotech Boldly Goes Where Only Science Fiction Has Gone Before
  • Star Trek: "to boldly go where no man has gone before."
  • Editor's Note: This article is a wretched hive of poorly integrated science fiction quotes, perhaps even more so than Mos Eisley is a wretched hive of scum and villainy.
    • Star Wars: Episode IV: "Mos Eisley spaceport: You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy."
  • Paragraph 1: We may not be able to travel to a galaxy far, far away
    • Star Wars: "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away."
  • Paragraph 2: The biotechnology industry, in its quest to help mankind live long and prosper
    • Star Trek: "Live long, and prosper."
  • Paragraph 3: And what classic guy line does Han spout in this scene after Leia declares her love?
    • "I know." (perhaps the sexiest line in sci-fi)
  • Paragraph 6: Will we one day be able to use reversible hibernation to travel the galaxy until we find that great restaurant at the end of the universe?
    • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (movie): "I know this great restaurant at the end of the universe" and also the title of the second book in series. We'll note that one of our readers pointed out that the title of the book refers to the TIME of the end of the universe rather than the LOCATION of the end of the universe.
  • Paragraph 10: the progress achieved with stem cells is worth phoning home about.
    • ET: "E.T. phone home."
  • Paragraph 12: a series of sudden but inevitable betrayals puts the technology into the wrong hands
    • Firefly: "Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal." And winner Doug Grove pointed out that this is not only a line from the TV show, it could also be a reference to the show's sudden but inevitable cancellation by Fox network as well as Wash's sudden but inevitable betrayal by writer/director Joss Whedon.
  • Paragraph 15: While it's unlikely we'll be using Venter's synthetic bacteria anytime soon to turn Mars into a hotspot for hosting intergalactic keggers.
    • Men In Black: "We're not hosting an intergalactic kegger down here."
  • Paragraph 16: After all, as one of sci-fi's greatest teachers says: "Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering."
    • Quote attributable to Yoda in Star Wars: Episode I.

    In retrospect, we probably should have specified that the technology examples (carbonite freezing from Star Wars, the Aesculaptor from Logan's Run, regeneration in The Fifth Element and Project Genesis from Star Trek) were not among the 10 hidden references we were looking for. However, we did award points for hidden references caught by readers that we didn't even intend. A few of our favorites were:

    • Paragraph 6: "Reversible hibernation" could be a reference to a number of sci-fi movies, including 2001: A Space Odyssey, Alien, etc. (submitted by several readers).
    • Paragraph 11: "Grow new body parts" could be a reference to the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode in which Dr. Toby Russell grows a new spine for Lt. Worf (submitted by winner Doug Grove).
    • Paragraph 15: "Creation of chimeras" could be a reference to The Fly (submitted by Arielle Kolk, ambulatory business manager with University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland).

    Very impressive, especially considering you didn't have 15 years and three supercomputers to "MacGyver" your answers. Most of you responded in a matter of hours!

    (Oh, and in case you were wondering ... in the above, "super-green" is a reference to The Fifth Element, "heavy" is a reference to Back to the Future, and the last paragraph is a reference to Stargate SG-1's Samantha Carter making a reference to MacGyver – whew!)

    Thanks for playing!

    Published: November 1, 2007