Originally Posted by Arrogant Bastard
There's a world of difference between cloning and culturing cells in a petri dish and replicator technology, though. They're apples and oranges.
Originally Posted by imageWIS
I know there have been tests done to change the molecular structure of one element to another, although piecing a base elemental source and converting into veal parm is going to take a lot more research.
See my post, above; that said, the writers (while talented) aren't exactly postdoctoral molecular biologists/research fellows, much less NIH funded scientists. There are rules when it comes to the real world - though a bacterium cell (aka life) was in fact created in a lab (still, life requires life, immaculate creation as opposed to immaculate conception, and the synth cell (which replicates, etc. thus life) came with its own message readable in its genetic code (not exactly biblical, but hey, enough to upset the fanatics, but then, who says the "creators" didn't adopt THE creator's sense of humor, right?
That said, there's huge work in the area of cultured meat - already done, no animals harmed whatsoever (just like the underlying theory/purpose of the ST replicators, not to mention the whole (underlying) purpose of feeding a bunch of people (astronauts, whatever) on a space ship and/or station with limited storage, not to mention inability to factory farm in space (plus, whole 24th C idea of humanity, egalitarianism, no harm to sentient species like animals, etc. ... OF course ST is political. Anywho, there's a Dutch patent out on the subject, and NASA took it further with fish, turning the whole thing over basically to a non profit by the name of New Harvest, currently working with many research and other facilities, well funded (though not by the animal rights' folks, hmmm, you'd think they'd be all over it, wouldn't you?), and taking it to the next level: namely, commercial scale production (basically, throw stem cells responsible for muscle tissue from a pig or whatever into a vat of fungi or other bio food source for the cells to grow, starve em a bit so they shrink and zap em so they get some exercise (thus forming texture and making them hungry so they eat their bio meal and grow, etc.) and voila, you've your pork or your veal or whatever and just cook it up and add your own parm (also bio food, when you think about it: it's cultured bacteria as is yogurt, etc.). So, yeah, already done and well on its way to the next level ie mass production on a commercial scale, and the Dutch are invested in it, such that this ST tech is in fact in the making and coming to your table, on a resto menu and/or even (feasible) readily made/grown by yourself in your kitchen via a bio machine on your very own counter top next to your bread machine (same idea) soon.
Ah, as to weapons, yes, I remember that pre-warp society ep, where the nukes just fizzled against the shields (and what Reagan's "Star Wars" / SDI was somewhat about, ... wish the administration good luck with that, though of course if that day ever comes, something more potent like the planet killers/red material will be created ... on the other hand, until they actually prove life on another planet (waste of space if not, no?), the day may in fact come where peace on earth and all that ST jazz materializes, since red planeting Earth wouldn't exactly work for anyone (ultimate detente, in my op anyway).
And back to the main heading, ie what ST tech is available today, +100 on the Borg comment (oh, could but don't dare get into the whole philosophical-political aspects of it either, no way I'm going to spoil the fun of the concepts of blowing up planets and/or scattering our atoms via a transporter all over the galaxy with that kind of thinking ... er .....
All fun aside ... and returning to other things/tech we have now, either in spirit or to the letter:
Really, good one, Rambo -- and like your concept for the Trek 12 AB, though read somewhere they're thinking of Khan (huh? hope it's not true, but hey, lots of rumors abound - hope they're reading your Borg/human colony cyber project gone wrong idea, as frankly, I like it better and with the new Kirk's "individualistic" attitude, they could certainly re-do that whole line of thinking in ways that weren't really possible under Gene's "rules" - neat). And to that list of current tech I'll add:
Space shuttles, satellite tech and telecommunications, "on screen" real-time video and related technology, microwave and other advancements including bio-engineered food (including cultured meat, the concept/purpose being in fact the same and we're there already today, just got to make it economical ie commercial scale really, and it's on its way from everything I'm reading about it, also neat), not to mention advancements in civil rights, etc. Gene would no doubt be very pleased.
Again, cool discussion. NEAT.