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The World's Story is Yours to Tell

Dear kids

Since we are on the topic of researching ground breaking experiments, why dont you look up on those inventions, which 'accidentally' made a big difference. The serendipitous discoveries...

Serendipity is when someone finds something that he wasn't expecting to find, or, happy discoveries.

To start with,

Go to the above link, ........

Fatima Martin

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The photographer thought he pictured the beautiful black crowned heron,when he accidentally pictured the pileated woodpecker.


Alexander Flemming forgot to disinfect cultures of bacteria when leaving for his 2 week vacations, only to find them contaminated with Penicillium molds, which killed the bacteria.

Archimedes found out that as he got in to his tub to take a bath, the level of water rose and so he discovered that "any floating object displaces its own weight of fluid" and "any object completely or partially immersed in fluid, the weight of the fluid displaced is equal to the force of buoyancy supplied'
A "seredipitous" discovery!

Archimedes this serendipitous discovery is one of my favourite ones!

Charles Goodyear had been waiting for years for a happy accident to happen to him and it finally occurred in the form of vulcanized rubber.Goodyear spent a decade finding ways to make rubber easier to work with while being resistant to heat and cold.Nothing was having the effect he wanted.One day he spilled a mixture of rubber, sulfur and lead onto a hot stove. The heat charred the mixture, but didn't ruin it. When Goodyear picked up the accident, he noticed that the mixture had hardened but was still quite usable.
Voila! The world just got introduced to vulcanized rubber.

Lucky coincidences, good fortune........serendipity...........may seem like key factors in making scientific innovations. But look closer. Even when scientists feel that they just got lucky — like Newton being hit on the head with his proverbial apple — the steps leading to a new finding or idea often tell a different story. It takes more than being in the right place, at the right time, to make a serendipitous discovery.

A few important attributes of scientists who have had these lucky breakthroughts are:

1. Good background knowledge

2. An inquisitive mind

3. Creative thinking

4. Right tools and last but not the least

5. Good timing

The curious Physicist Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen wished to see if cathode rays could escape "a glass tube covered in black cardboard." Roentgen eventually discovered these rays could be used to photograph the human skeleton!!
X-rays are useful in the detection of pathology of the skeletal system as well as for detecting some disease processes in soft tissue.

Oersted was developing a lecture on electricity when he noticed that a compass that happened to be nearby was deflected by the battery appartus that would be used in his lecture. Upon further examination of this phenomenon over the next few months, Oersted observed that the direction of the needle could essentially be controlled by varying the position of the a wire carrying electricity, showing that electric current induces a magnetic field.

it is so nice to hear how non intentionally you actually dicover something.
i wish something like that happens with one of us also.

You were right about penicillin being discovered by Alexander Fleming Amatullah, but did you know that the development of penicillin for use as a medicine is attributed to the Australian Nobel Laureate Howard Walter Florey – he shared the Nobel Prize with Alexander Fleming.

I would like to share the story of the serendipitous discovery of a cancer fighting drug during a disaster at war.

Mustard Gas, a poisonous gas, was used with devastating results on both sides in WWI. Who knew that it could be used to treat cancer?

In the port of Bari, in southern Italy in WWII, the allies had a dirty little secret backfire - they had transferred mustard gas to the European front in case the axis powers used it first. During a German raid on December 2, 1943, the SS John Harvey, a merchant freighter carrying munitions, went down with all hands. Along with its load of conventional armaments, the ship held a top secret cargo of 2,000 hundred-pound bombs filled with a mustard agent, probably nitrogen mustard. Much of it dissolved in the oil slick where survivors of the ruined ship were fighting for their lives.

Since no one knew of the presence of the gas, rescuers made no effort to clean it off the survivors, many of whom lay overnight wrapped in blankets over their oil- and mustard drenched clothes. By morning medical workers had begun to suspect that something was wrong, as many of their patients had blisters and burns and complained of eye pain. Eventually word came to watch for victims of “blister gas,” but by the time the last sailor was treated, some had had it on their skin for as long as 24 hours. Ultimately 617 men were treated for mustard injuries, and 83 of them died. An Army investigator noted severe damage to the white blood cells of the exposed men. When autopsy surgeons examined the lymph nodes and bone marrow, they found nodes that were “very pale and without normal markings” and marrow that was pale pink instead of its normal red color - their lymph nodes had basically dissolved away from the mustard gas.

This was proof of something that had been suspected from WWI, that mustard gas destroyed lymphoid tissue. Over the next decade, medical researchers were able to prove that mustard gas could be used to treat tumors of lymphatic tissue - lymphomas - the first successful chemotherapeutic agent.

Another fascinating serendipitous discovery is of Christopher Columbus who had set out to find another route to India however ended up discovering an entire new world, we today know as America.

Follow this link to look-up more on Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus



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