Tribble puncher wrote:
Was watching Star Trek:TMP today and wondered why the transporter could not have been used to save the two crew members after being scrambled by the enterprise's own malfunctioning one...why didn't starfleet simply dump them back into the buffer, and rematerialize them using the last (good) scan of them? Why not take it further and use a transporter for surgery, to reverse aging? bring back the dead? all these things are possible within the context of the show
According to the tech manual, the transporter, at least when everything is working as intended, cannot replicate working organs or people. That's why a matter stream accompanies the data stream when someone is transported. The matter stream is not copied, it is sent, and it degrades rapidly if kept in the buffer. That's why Scotty's method of remaining in the pattern buffer was so extraordinary.
Concerning replicators and their relation to the transporter, the replicators do not create the matter with any degree of precision comparable to the transporter. That's why people often complain about the taste of replicated food. Obviously the limits of the replicator include not being able to replicate "living" matter.
Now, it has been established that the transporters do store certain data about the transport that can be accessed later, but not the raw data of the position, velocity, and composition of all the particles in the person, something which, according to Lawrence Krauss, would take approximately 10 million yottabytes, or about 100 trillion times more information than the entire World Wide Web. Presumably this amount of information is not stored for long periods of time in the transporter system. And even if it were, you would have to resort to creating an imperfect copy.
Presumably in Star Trek I, either the matter stream or data was corrupted. When this happens, it isn't like a computer, where a copy is stored somewhere that we can resort to. The data may be stored for a short time, but not the matter, and replicating a person doesn't work. That's why those people died.