3 Things from Doctor Who That Exist in Real Life
I came late to the party, but now I am one of those people who fully embrace Doctor Who not as a mere television show, but for the absolute miracle of existence that it is. No show, not Twin Peaks, not Buffy the Vampire Slayer, not even Pushing Daisies, has ever drawn me in so deep. It is quite simply the best television ever made.
One day last week I fell into a kind of fugue, a funk brought on by money trouble, too many late nights and bad weather. I managed to pass the time cheering myself up by imagining what it would be like to be one of the Doctor's companions just tooling around space and time. It's a pretty common form of Who fan daydream, but there's nothing like that in real life, is there?
Turns out the world of the Doctor is a bit closer than you think.
Aside from the TARDIS, the sonic screwdriver is probably the most recognizable bit of Time Lord technology. It's a multi-use tool that can lock or unlock almost anything, make cell phones able to receive service anywhere in the universe and in any time, operate computer systems, and yes, it can occasionally unscrew things. Not every Doctor has used the screwdriver, but in the modern series it's a constant, handy presence ready to help whenever it's called for.
It turns out that scientists at the University of Dundee in Scotland are hard at work trying to create one of their own. The device will use an ultrasonic beam to manipulate objects remotely, moving them up and down and rotating them. The goal is to use it as a form of noninvasive surgery, targeted drug delivery and even directly affecting cells using the ultrasonic beam.
Appropriately enough, one of the functions of the sonic screwdriver is that it also serves as a medical scanner. Who knows what miracles may be capable through sonic manipulation? We'll just have to see where science takes us from here.