In "Macrocosm," nearly all of Voyager is incapacitated by macroviruses. Even the EMH is attacked, since the macroviruses are also attracted to infrared light. I am curious if Data would be attacked, if he happened to be aboard at the time. Granted, Data is not flesh and blood, nor does he give off infrared light like the Doc. However, he is "alive" in a certain sense (and can be affected by certain biological infestations, such as the polywater intoxication in "The Naked Now").

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    I can find no references to data's body temperature on memory alpha, but it seems unlikely that a machine with as much processor power as data would not produce any infrared radiation. Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 2:18
  • My guess is that Data wouldn't "chicken out" like the EMH. He'd probably tirelessly patrol the corridors with a phaser until the last of the macroviruses were eliminated. Commented Jun 9, 2017 at 3:25
  • Well, it's pretty clear that the reason the macrovirus is attracted you infrared light, which the EMH emits is that the plot required the entire crew to be susceptible. So for some yet-to-be-determined reason, it would attack Data too. Commented Nov 20, 2017 at 2:54

2 Answers 2


Yes - they would attack Data

Your assertion about Data that "nor does he give off infrared light like the Doc", is incorrect.

In Birthright, Bashir notes that Data is breathing, and Data responds that it helps regulate his internal temperature.

Additionally, he has been in close contact with several women (especially Tasha Yar in The Naked Now), who are unlikely to get so (ahem) intimate if he was physically cold (or room temperature).

The general indication is that he gives off human-equivalent heat. Heat is a form of infrared radiation. Given this, the macrovirus would likely see Data as a target, and attempt to attack him.


In this episode the Doctor, even being just a holographic projection, was attacked by the macrovirus (in a violent physical manner btw). I don't recall of an explanation for these events in the episode itself, but some may argue that the projection would emit some IR. Considering so, since Data usually touches other members of the crew in the Enterprise, even with some handshakes here and there but also including some more deep relationship with Tasha Yar, it is reasonable to expect he was designed so that his body mimics the same average temperature as a human and so that he gets comfortable to be touched. Considering this, he should then emit similar IR spectrum as a human and consequently he should be attacked by the MV as any other member of the crew (which doesn't necessarily mean he would be infected by the attacks anyway).

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