The Andromeda Strain Essay Research Paper Brandon

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The Andromeda Strain Essay, Research Paper Brandon Harris 2-11-98 4th Period The Andromeda Strain By Michael Crichton Space truly is the final frontier. All over the world people are trying to find out as much as possible about this region. But what if what we found in space was something deadly? What if something came back that threatened to destroy the entire human race? This is exactly what happened in The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton. In the opening incident of the book, a space probe sent into the upper atmosphere of earth crashes unexpectedly in a remote area of Arizona. The probe was sent up to determine if there were any organisms capable of survival in space. When the probe landed, two men from the Military were sent down to survey the area and obtain the

probe. They found the town that it had landed in was in chaos. There were bodies everywhere. Upon driving into the town, they immediately died. It was immediately clear that the deaths of the population of this town and the space probe’s crash were not coincidental. A committee had been formed 5 years prior to the incident to determine what would be done in a situation such as this one. If the organism could not be identified and neutralized, a nuclear bomb would be detonated on the site. Here, a man versus nature conflict begins. Clearly, the probe had brought something back from space. A team was assembled to determine exactly what that was. The team consisted of five men from various fields of science. Most had forgotten about The Wildfire Project, as it was called. They

were gathered from their homes throughout the country and flown to Arizona. The team consisted of five men; Jeremy Stone (the coordinator), Peter Leavitt (a microbiologist), Charles Burton (a pathologist), Christian Kirke (an anthropologist) and Mark Hall (a physician). It was thought that these men, when working together, could quickly discover the nature of the organism and make a decision as to what would be done in destroying it. The use of the nuclear device which the team was considering involved a very serious decision. In order to give civilians the power to detonate such a device, the oddman hypothesis was created. It stated that one of the members of the team be single, and that it would be his responsibility to make the nuclear decision. He was to be given a key that

would only work for him. If a leak was detected in the examination facility, it would be up to him to stop the detonation. The odd man of the team was Mark Hall. This played a key factor in the climax. The team was taken to the site of the landing. Upon examining the bodies they discovered that this organism was actually a virus, and it acted by clotting the blood and causing immediate death. They began to leave when they discovered that there were two survivors, an old man and a baby. This added a new, useful factor to the equation. It showed that this virus could be beaten. After going through an elaborate sterilization process, they began work on the virus. They performed many tests on the virus. They ran it through a microscope, it was determined how large it was, it was even

determined how it worked. They did tests on the old man and the baby that had managed to survive, trying to find the link. No connection between the two could be found. That is when the unthinkable happened. When Burton was working on the virus, he cut the gloves of his suit that sealed out the virus. Immediately the four men rushed to see Burton. He was panicked, and screaming. It had been found that the virus did not survive well in pure oxygen, so that was pumped into the room he was in. Burton appeared to be fine, and when a sample of the virus in Burton’s area was analyzed, it was discovered to be mutated into a harmless form. Apparently, the baby and the old man had been lucky enough to avoid the virus until it mutated into a benign form. The situation seemed to be under