5 deplorable situations that benefited for science
The history of science is the history of mankind is full of exciting discoveries and catastrophic failures, but what a scientist is not exactly equal, so it is in the ability to pay for the benefit of science, any global cataclysm and the local scene. Using the current difficult situation, the researchers obtained data that may lead to the discovery of a new fundamental law, or the development of the drug. Here are 5 examples of this scientific enthusiasm.
1. Nuclear weapons testing
With the 1950s of the last century, many Governments have carried out tests of nuclear weapons in the atmosphere.
The result of intensive experiments was the spread of radioactive isotopes, cover half the planet - these particles have made their mark in the development of both plants and animals. If you are "lucky" to be born at that time, certainly in your body can be found traces of the radioactive substance. In the end, the world powers have come to the conclusion that insecurity scale nuclear experiments, and in 1963 they were discontinued.
In our time, scientists dealing with the issue of renovation of fat cells in the human body. During experiments, animals were fed researchers radioactive food containing a so-called carbon-14, and then observed with a speed of new adipose tissue appears not containing traces isotope.
At some point, the scientific luminaries realized that the object of observation can serve the people themselves: the nuclear "prank" of various countries have made a lot of people in guinea pigs, because a huge amount of carbon-14 fell into the human body, together with irradiated food. No silver lining: the study of the fat cells of the life cycle can now be carried out directly on the two-legged volunteers.
2. The cholera epidemic in London
So far, the big cities are unattractive to life in relation to the environmental situation - a rapidly growing population density leads to the fact that residents of cities enveloped the stench of their own debris and was able to production facilities.
In the XIX-th century in major European cities it has already been taken to defecate in the street, but some unpleasant incidents still occur. For example, in 1854 a cholera epidemic swept London, affecting residents of many different areas of the city if at random. People in broad daylight fell dead. The main culprit for the spread of infection elusive, scientists and doctors in those years was considered disgusting air quality.
London physician John Snow once noted that some of the buildings and areas most affected by the epidemic, while the residents of neighboring houses to avoid infection. Snow was layout most dangerous areas, hoping to identify the pattern of infection.
After a short investigation, the picture began to emerge: Dr. Snow discovered that the house suffered more than others, receive their drinking water from the same source. The company, driving the water take her in the Thames, and was found to upstream of the water intake shortly before the epidemic discharge sewage waste was organized. Thus, it was proved that the dirty London air had nothing to do with it - was to blame for spoiled drinking water.
3 Turtle Island
Galapagos, or Turtle Island is famous because it was here that Sir Charles Darwin began to develop his theory of the evolutionary origin of species. The main feature of Turtle Island is an extraordinary number of unique plant and animal species that can not be found anywhere else. This happened because most of the animals (except turtles and birds) were not able to travel between the islands, so that each of the islands has become an isolated ecosystem. These pieces of land for a long time were unknown to Europeans, so that when Darwin sailed here, the flora and fauna have remained almost intact.
Watching the birds, Darwin noticed that the representatives of, for example, family mimid differ from their counterparts in Chile and a different look at the various islands of the archipelago. This gave him the idea that species change occurs under the influence of specific environmental conditions. The scientist concluded that each isolated island natural selection process went their separate ways, giving each local type of unique features. Thus, the complete isolation of the islands allowed the development of one of the basic biological theories.
4. War as a statistical tool
It is difficult to imagine all the horrors of the Vietnam War, but there is a bright example of what was happening on the field (or rather, in the jungle) battles.
American soldiers who served in Vietnam, given a number based on the chronological order of their birth. Since the serial number of each individual conscript does not depend on anything other than the date of birth (in the case of coincidence of dates - from the place of residence), this practice has made perfect participants statistical material for the study of the effects of hostilities to humans.
For example, men with lower atomic numbers, that is, designed before others, displayed a generally more democratic views, mostly directed against war and violence. Another statistic, using these data revealed that no matter how sad it sounds, sometimes it's better to get a bullet in the war than to return safe and sound - Government support for war veterans is poor.
5. 28,000 rubber ducks lost
In 1992, overboard a ship crossing the Pacific Ocean, fell container, inside which there were thousands of rubber ducks.
Despite the obvious negative consequences of this incident (pollution of the oceans), many found themselves in the water toys have rendered good service to scientists: the tracking of the movement, it was possible to ascertain the direction of the world's major ocean currents.
It is used for similar purposes satellite images could not give an accurate picture, and the use of marker substances is fraught with environmental degradation, so unsinkable duck were the most suitable material for the research. Reports of the discovery of bright yellow toy arrived to the scientists from different parts of the Earth. Some duck through the Arctic waters have reached even the North Atlantic Ocean, which made it possible to examine in detail the distribution of the world's water flows.