Scientists Study Heart Disease in the 24th Century by Watching Star Trek
If only Jordan Hoffman had known when he re-watched and ranked all 700 episodes of Star Trek that he could have gotten a legitimate scientific paper out of it. A team of researchers recently spent time watching almost all of Star Trek and published a paper in Resuscitation called "Where no guideline has gone before: Retrospective analysis of resuscitation in the 24th century."
In order to study heart disease in the 24th century, the research team watched every episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager and analyzed all the cardiac events that occurred. They wrote, "Patients were excluded if cardiac arrest occurred during mass casualties, if the victims were annihilated by energy weapons or were murdered and nobody besides the assassin could provide first aid. Epidemiological data, treatment and outcome of cardiac arrest victims in the 24th century were studied."
Their conclusion? That in the 24th century, cardiac arrest is still a problem, but only because life is more stressful. Advancements in medicine mean that there are far fewer cardiac events from natural causes, and that an extremely large portion of them (40%) are induced by trauma.
"Cardiac arrest remains a critical event in the 24th century. We observed a change of etiology from cardiac toward traumatic origin. Quick access to medical help and new prognostic tools were established to treat cardiac arrest."
This study seems like it's mostly for fun, but works of science fiction, especially Star Trek, have been known to predict the future at times. Who knows, maybe Star Trek will be as eerily accurate about heart disease as it was about cell phones and molecular scanners.