“What you are telling me is that X-ray specs actually work,” said Rupert.
“Well, yes, if you put it that way. Light does pass into and out of the body,” said the young woman with the large Visitor badge. “Our company has followed up research from the Imperial College in London, which monitored the path of bacterial infection by scanning patients in the dark.”
“To be precise,” her older gentleman companion said, “the patients were mice infected with a light-generating bacterium. We intend to use human patients.”
“And you claim you can watch this infection in 3D and in real time,” Rupert said.
“Yes,” both visitors said.
The gentleman said, “What we propose here, Mr. Madasheck, is a partnership where we provide the way for you to monitor your clinical trials by literally watching how your drug works.”
“I can adapt this system to any infection you plan to treat,” the woman said. “The patient must stay in a completely dark chamber during the scan. But I assure you, bacteria emit enough light that passes through the body and you can make videos of it. I have also followed up earlier work that used natural bacteria in yogurt.”
“Now we can study what happens when you treat drug-resistant superbugs,” the gentleman said. “We believe Cappuccino Pharmaceuticals can make amazing breakthroughs when it no longer needs to guess what is happening.”
Rupert pondered the proposition and looked back and forth from one visitor to the other. Finally, he said, “Amazing. We of course would own the film rights, yes?”
**** **** ****
Meanwhile, Betty Lidalot strolled through the third floor clothing collections of Bergdorf Goodman when she recognized the pregnant supermodel Kim Kevorkian surrounded by a posse of handlers. Kim sported what looked like a pair of headlights strapped to her belly with the beams of light pointing inwards. Unable to resist, Betty introduced herself and asked, “Can you tell me about this device? I’ve never seen anything like it, at least not strapped so low.”
Kim grinned and patted the headlights affectionately. “You remember back when women wore headphones on their bellies to pipe in Mozart and make their children into geniuses? Well, now we beam light into them.”
One of Kim’s handlers stepped forward to block Betty’s approach and said, “Ma’am, Ms. Kevorkian keeps up to date with research that body-penetrating light helps the eyes develop. Fact.”
Betty stepped back and stared at him. “Fact? Where was this ‘research’ done?”
“UC San Francisco and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, ma’am,” said the handler. “We might prevent eye diseases by making sure women get plenty of direct light. That activates some protein called melanopsin. But you want the right kind of light, not just flashing glitter.”
“I’m designing my own line of lamps so you can light up your baby’s life,” Kim said as her retinue moved on.
Later that day, Kim passed close to a glittering disco mirror ball…
Yes, I have sources!