Medicine: Mechanical Medics

Rushed to a top-secret desert laboratory to study a mysterious microbe from outer space, scientists in Michael Crichton's 1969 novel The Andromeda Strain undergo a thorough physical examination before they are allowed to start work. Their hearts, lungs and brain waves are all checked, their body fluids are analyzed, and their immunities to various diseases boosted by shots. But no doctor takes part in the process; the entire examination is automated. Says one member of the team to a colleague: "That machine—you'd better not let the A.M.A. find out about it." The A.M.A. already knows. Once little more than a figment...

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