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When I reported on the growth and successes of the Internet Pictures
Corporation (iPIX) in June 2000, there was every indication that this
company was going to be an outstanding commercial success. The price
of the stock was about three times greater than it had been for its
Initial Public Offering (IPO), and there had been several mergers with
other companies that gave good market growth.
Unfortunately the stock markets in the United States started to
decline shortly after June for some of the computer-based technology
companies. On October 17, 2000, there was a sharp decline in
technology stock prices. iPIX stock eventually sunk to a level of less
than $1.00 per share from a high of $46.00. This forced iPIX to take
measures to reduce its costs and sell off some of its assets. It has
since undergone reorganization with a reverse stock split of 1 new
share of stock for 10 shares of the original stock. This was part of
the reorganization, which involved some new investors providing more
than $20 million in additional capital. iPIX appears to be on the road
to recovery, but that is not guaranteed.
I brought several copies of a CD-ROM disk that has iPIX images of
several cultural sites in Russia. There is only time to show a few. As
you can see, it is possible to look in any direction at works of art
and architecture. Copies of this disk are available in the lobby of
the conference center. Take one and examine the images at your
leisure. You can also gain information about iPIX from the Web; its
address is: . http://www.ipix.com .
My point is not to go over the technical details of the company or
technology of how the iPIX imaging system works. Rather, I believe
what happened to iPIX shows how problems can arise over which the
inventors and investors have no control. These kinds of nontechnical
problems can cause a company to nearly fail, as in this case, or go
completely out of business, as happened to many others during the
recent drop in the U.S. economy.
A good idea and good backing are always necessary but almost never
sufficient to ensure a successful business. Laboratories in the United
States and in Russia are populated with scientists and engineers who
believe that if they invent it, someone will want it. They would be
better advised to find out what someone wants and then find a way to
For the participants of this workshop, it is not necessary to
explain what a positron is or that it annihilates when it collides
with an electron. This annihilation process results in the emission
of a pair of gamma rays. It is possible to detect these gamma rays
and determine the location where this annihilation took place.
Fluorine 18 is a short half-life radioactive element that emits
positrons. By binding fluorine 18 to glucose and injecting a small
quantity into a