In Star Trek Enterprise (Regeneration) the Borg assimilate some people, cause havoc and run amok. During all this Phlox gets infected with some nanites and begins to be assimilated. However, he ingeniously develops a method of deactivating all the of nanites in his body, essentially curing himself and preventing his impending oneness with the collective.

In universe, why wouldn't this knowledge still be available and even improved upon, perhaps being turned into some kind of a weapon, by the 24th century? Starfleet knew the Borg were a threat and were out there. They knew they would run into them eventually, and that they were woefully unprepared.

  • I don't think the NX-01 that dealt with the Borg (caused by future events in First Contact) is the same NX-01 that was in the TNG's history (until maybe after First Concact). Temporal mechanics is hard (and a great way to retcon things). – mu is too short Aug 2 '13 at 1:07

Given that Picard's assimilation was able to be completely reversed (even after a much greater length of time with the Collective - see Best of Both Worlds), it is not clear that this cure was "lost" at all. The Borg threat is not merely that they can assimilate in this way, but that they can quickly overwhelm defenses and take over an entire crew (or even planet). A cure won't help if you have no opportunity to use it.

Perhaps Phlox's initial research into the nanoprobes is what allowed Picard to make a complete recovery in the TNG timeline.

Additionally, it is reasonable to assume that the Borg can adapt their nanoprobes (just as they can adapt their defenses), nullifying any attempt at immunity. The Federation would have perhaps underestimated the Borg's adaptability; perhaps they did design a weapon based on this research, but it was rendered completely ineffective by the TNG timeline. This answer feels a little cheap to me, but I suppose it works for the Borg.

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    I don't think Picard's crew knew anything about the Borg. It seemed like they were a completely new threat. – Reinstate Monica - Goodbye SE Jan 31 '12 at 16:04
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    @Wikis You can't expect Picard's crew to be aware of a single, perhaps classified, single event some 200 years in the past. Someone may have made that connection after the fact, but during the first Borg encounter they were rather occupied at the time. – Frank Pierce Jan 31 '12 at 16:44
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    @FrankPierce: Actually, it is possible that someone on Picard's crew should have known. A lot of military officers tend to look up the records of previous incarnations of the vessel they serve on, and Archer's and Kirk's must surely have been the most famous ships to bear that name at the time. At the least, you'd have thought Data would have read and remembered those records. – Tynam Apr 14 '12 at 23:39
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    @Tynam I doubt it - in The Naked Now, only Riker had any recollection of an event ~100 years prior. 200 years is pushing it for relevance to their era, plus the NX-01 Enterprise wasn't necessarily a previous incarnation - it was from before the Federation was founded. – Izkata Sep 17 '12 at 22:42
  • @Izkata: The event being someone showering with their clothes on, and it could be found in the library computer. If something trivial like that is found, shouldn't information about a major threat of unknown origin be much more prominent? – O. R. Mapper Jun 30 '15 at 5:42

It's actually explained in Regeneration that, as a Denobulan, Doctor Phlox's metabolism is much more efficient than a human's metabolism, which is why it takes so long to assimilate him; just like Species 8472 who proved impossible to assimilate due to their highly active metabolisms. Moreover, it's heavily implied that the Omicron radiation used to purge the nanoprobes would likely kill a human, and only Phlox, as a Denobulan, could use this method to avoid assimilation.

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