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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: . .

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 provide it.


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

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