facts about scientific inventions and inventors

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1.   Did you know that the largest galaxy discovered to date is the IC-1101, with approximately 100 quadrillion stars? 

2.   Did you know that the Milky Way is part of a gigantic cluster of 100,000 galaxies? 

3.    Did you know If we make a disappearance on all atoms, people, planets, constellations and galaxies, the universe will continue to weigh three quarters of what it weighed before – that is, 73% of its original mass will remain.

4.    Did you know If the Big Bang had occurred on January 1, the Milky Way would be born on March 15 and the Sun would come on August 30.

5.    Did you know The largest structure in the universe is formed by a group of quasars powered by a high mass black hole. It is so large that it would take 4 billion years to cross it at the speed of light.

6.    Did you know A team of astronomers has found an exoplanet – as the planets are called outside the solar system – with a ring system 200 times larger than Saturn’s. 

7.   Did you know The Milky Way and its neighbors are part of a cluster of galaxies called the Virgo cluster. This, in turn, is part of a super-agglomerate of 100,000 galaxies named Laniakea.

8.   Did you know The Milky Way is on a collision course with Andromeda, one of the nearest nearby galaxies. It is believed that both must collide in 3 billion years.

9.   Did you know The sun takes around 250 million years to make a full turn in the Milky Way. Since the galaxy began about 13 billion years ago, it has given only 54 laps.

10.    Did you know If the sun were the size of a cell, the Milky Way would be comparatively the size of the United States.

11.    Did you know If we were to drive a car at a steady speed of 100 miles per hour, it would take us about 221 million years to reach the center of the Milky Way.

12.    Did you know If you could drive your car upright, straight up, it would take only an hour to get to the space (which is about 65 miles).

13.    Did you know Contrary to science fiction films, it is impossible to hear the sound of a spaceship exploding in space. Reason: sound does not propagate in a vacuum.

14.    Did you know The universe smells like hot metal, diesel smoke and barbecue smoke.

15.    Did you know Sunlight takes 8 minutes and 17 seconds to reach Earth. If it exploded at that moment, we would only know in 8 minutes.

16.    Did you know The light of many stars takes thousands and even millions of years to reach us. If a star 15,000 light-years away explodes at that moment, we will only see this event 15,000 years from now.

17.    Did you know Every minute, somewhere in the universe, a star explodes and shines more than an entire galaxy.

18.    Did you know The famous red spot on the planet Jupiter is a 400-year-old storm. Detail: it is three times larger than the Earth.

19.    Did you know There are 5 dwarf planets in the solar system: Pluto, Ceres, Eris, Haumea and Makemake. But the queue of likely similar stars is immense, with more than 20 candidates. 

20.    Did you know The Earth spins at 1,600 kilometers per hour, but travels in its orbit around the sun at a speed of 107 kilometers per hour.

21.    Did you know When the Krakatoa volcano erupted in 1883, the force of its explosion was so great that it can be heard more than 7,700 miles away in Australia.

22.    Did you know The largest volcanic eruption in history occurred 250 million years ago, where today it is Siberia. She was responsible for the extinction of 96% of life on Earth.

23.    Did you know Of the about 90 chemical elements in nature, only 17 are responsible for all the chemical reactions that occur in your body.

24.    Did you know Seventy percent of your body is pure water. Because water is mainly made up of hydrogen, it is the most common element in the human body. 

25.    Did you know Over a period of 100 years, a water molecule spends less than a week in the atmosphere, 2 weeks in lakes and rivers, 20 months in the form of ice and about 98 years in the oceans.

26.    Did you know Only 2.7% of all water in the world is fit for consumption. If we put all the water on the planet in a giant bottle, drinking water would be a drop.

27.    Did you know An adult person loses around 15 grams of skin a day. Much of the dust of a house is made up of the skin of the people who live there.

28.    Did you know The hairs grow about 1 centimeter per month. The curious thing is that they grow faster in the summer and during the day than in the winter and at night.

29.    Did you know A person walks around 160,000 miles throughout his life. This is equivalent to going around the Earth four times in a row.

30.    Did you know During the 1-year period, the heart pumps no less than 262,800 liters of blood, which would give 26.5 tank trucks of 10,000 liters.

31.    Did you know People with more than 50 pints in the body are more susceptible to skin cancer. The greater the amount of spots, the greater the vulnerability of the skin.

32.    Did you know If it were possible to put all living beings on the planet on a scale, 80% of the weight would come from microorganisms – say viruses and bacteria.

33.    Did you know One of the most terrible parasites that exist is the ameba Naegegleria fowleri. If a person dips into a pool or pond with this type of creature, they can become infected and have their brain devoured by it.

34.    Did you know The smallest mammal in the world is the shrew, at only 10 centimeters. When it is born, it is smaller than a bee.

35.    Did you know The hyena is the mammal with the strongest bite. A bite from a hyena is able to crush the bones of its victim. It also has a gastric system that allows the digestion of bones.

36.    Did you know The animal that produces the largest amount of feces is the blue whale. A single whale is capable of producing 90 kilograms of poop per day.

37.    Did you know According to the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, there are three rats for every person in the world. As the world population is 7 billion people, this gives 21 billion rats.

38.    Did you know More than 80% of animal surveys involve laboratory mice. Altogether, 90 million mice and mice die each year in scientific experiments.

39.    Did you know The hummingbird flaps its wings 90 times per second, four times faster than a dragonfly. He is also able to fly backwards and upside down.

40.    Did you know Who came first, the egg or the chicken? Answer: the egg. Fish, amphibians and reptiles had already developed eggs before the first birds appeared.

41.    Did you know Crocodiles rarely develop infections. Their blood has a natural antibiotic that causes the wounds to heal quickly.

42.    Did you know Sharks are able to smell a drop of fish extract in a radius of approximately 2,000 meters. They can also feel a drop of blood in 100 parts of water.

43.    Did you know It may seem strange, but the heart of the shrimp is in the head. In fact, not only the heart, but the entire digestive system of this animal is in your head.

44.    Did you know Spiders, mites, ticks and centipedes are not insects. Spiders and mites are arachnids, tatutes are crustaceans, and centipedes are centipedes.

45.    Did you know The largest ant colony in the world is 6,000 kilometers long, divided into millions of ants and occupying the coast of ten European countries.

46.    Did you know Flies rub their paws to clean them. Paws have aroma and taste receptors that need to be cleaned so they can “recognize” new foods.

47.    Did you know The strongest animal in the world is the beetle-rhinoceros. He can carry 850 times the weight of his body. the equivalent of a man carrying 75 cars on his back.

48.    Did you know Everyone knows there are no elephants in Siberia. This northern region of the planet is, however, a major exporter of ivory. Reason: the amount of mammoth fossils, an extinct relative of the elephant, which is found there.

49.    Did you know The largest shark that ever existed was the megalodon. He was three times bigger than the modern white shark. His teeth were up to 20 centimeters long.


50.    Did you know Charles Darwin never said that the man came from the monkey. He just stated that humans and monkeys could have a common ancestor, probably a primate.

Facts about scientific inventions and inventors with dates

1. Microwave

In the early 1940s, Percy Spencer, an engineer at Raytheon Corporation, was testing one of the company’s thermionic valves when, suddenly, the chocolate bar that was in his pocket accidentally melted. Intrigued, he began to aim the valve at other objects and concluded that their melting was caused by the energy of small waves of heat. And so the microwave was born in 1945.

2. Remedy for malaria

Quinine is a drug used to treat malaria since the 17th century, when the Jesuits began employing it while exploring South America. But this is not the only version of the story. The Andean legend claims that an Indian who was very weakened by malaria had been lost in the forest and, with an insatiable thirst, drank the water of a puddle between the roots of a quina-quina tree.

The water tasted bitter, and he thought it would get worse. But the opposite happened. He improved, found the way back to his people, and shared his knowledge with others.

3. X-rays

German physicist Wilhelm Roentgen was working with cathode ray tubes in his laboratory when, in 1895, he realized that they were illuminating a partition in the room, even when they were covered. He tried to block the light with several objects, but nothing worked. Until he put his hand in front of the tubes and saw the image of his bones projects into the partition.

The technology was enhanced with photographic plates and soon began to be used in hospitals – even though at the time they did not know about the risks involved in another accidental discovery …

4. Radioactivity

Admired by the discovery of X-rays, the French physicist Henri Becquerel began to study their connection to the property of phosphorescence. The scientist then placed uranium salts on photographic plates, thinking that they would be able to “absorb” the X-ray, weakening the images. To complete the experiment, all he needed was to expose the plate to the sun. But that day, the weather was closed in Paris.

Becquerel left the experiment in the dark until the sun came out. But even in the dark, the plate was marked by the salts, making the images even sharper. Thus, the physicist discovered that the light effect of the uranium salts was, in fact, radioactivity.

Becquerel was the mentor of Marie and Pierre Currie and shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1903, the fruit of the studies on radioactivity (a term coined by Marie Curie in fact).

5. Velcro

After touring the Alps with his dog, the Swiss engineer George de Mestral noticed that small pieces of a plant of the genus Arctium had been stuck in his clothes. The seeds were covered with small hooks, which allowed them to get trapped in the scientist. And so Mestral decided to create an object as adherent as those seeds: velcro.

6. Pacemaker

While attempting to build a heart-stopping device, Wilson Greatbatch installed a resistor in the circuit of his machine and noted that he emitted electric pulses.

Imagining that these pulses could stimulate heart activity when there was some collapse, Greatbatch created the first pacemaker, which was successfully deployed for the first time in 1958 in a dog.

7. LSD

Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann was studying the use of lysergic acid for drugs when he accidentally tasted some of the substance.

He went home feeling dizzy and restless, and as he lay down he “sank into a kind of drunkenness that was not unpleasant and which was characterized by an extreme activity of the imagination,” the chemist described.

“As I lay in a daunting situation, with my eyes closed (I experienced daylight as something unpleasantly bright), an uninterrupted flow of fantastic images, with extraordinary plasticity and vivacity, accompanied by intense play and kaleidoscopic color, “he continued.

8. Penicillin

While doing his studies in bacteriology, the Scottish doctor Alexander Fleming noticed that a fungus was growing in his samples of Staphylococcus bacteria. The bacterial colonies, however, did not increase. Fleming found that, in fact, the fungus was a rare strain of Penicillium chrysogenum, capable of inhibiting bacterial growth.

Penicillin, introduced on the market in the 1940s, gave birth to the era of antibiotics.

9. Viagra

In the 1990s, pharmaceutical company Pfizer began testing a new compound to treat heart disease. The men who tested the substance, however, felt a very different effect. It turns out that the drug proved to be ineffective for the heart, but it ended the problem of erectile dysfunction. In 1996, sildenafil was patented by Pfizer and in 1998, Viagra was approved by the FDA, the agency that regulates medicines in the United States.

10. Insulin

In 1889, physicians Oscar Minkowski and Josef von Mering removed a dog’s pancreas to understand how the organ affected digestion. Days later, flies crowded around the urine of the pet, which was full of sugar. And so, by removing the pancreas, the doctors gave the dog diabetes – and they could not figure out what caused it.

Two decades later, two researchers at the University of Toronto, Frederick Banting and John Macleod, were able to isolate the substance excreted by the pancreas that regulates blood sugar: insulin. In 1923, they won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

11. Steam engine

Denis Papin and Thomas Savery, at the end of the 17th century, developed the first practical use steam engines; however, the real revolution in the area was created by Thomas Newcomen in 1712: the engine of Newcomen. The next major breakthrough occurred in 1769 at the hands of James Watt, who created a machine with a condenser that minimized heat losses and had other purposes such as propulsion of mills and lathes.

12.     Press

Before Johannes Gutternberg invented the press in the mid-15th century, the general population’s access to knowledge was minimal. Thanks to the device created by him, however, for the first time it was possible to produce books on a large scale, which made possible not only changes in the social and economic order, but also inspired thousands of people working on their own discoveries.

13.     Airplane

The creation of the airplane was a great landmark for history, as it significantly reduced the travel time between two cities. Brazilian inventor Alberto Santos Dumont has developed the world’s first airplane capable of a complete flight, including takeoff, stay in the air and landing, without the need for a launching ramp.

14.     Gunpowder

Invented by Chinese alchemists, gunpowder is one of the deadliest creations ever made by mankind. Initially used alongside a primitive spear thrower aimed at attacking distant enemies, during the Middle Ages the material was used more refined, resulting in the first modern firearms.

15.     Electricity

It’s thanks to the electricity that we can light a lamp, turn on the TV or put the cell phone to charge. However, electricity has not always existed. In the time of our great-grandparents, for example, people could not afford to buy too much food because it spoiled too quickly, since there was no refrigerator to store.

Before the discovery of electricity, people used charcoal iron to iron their clothes, salt to conserve meats, and they buried water to keep them cold when they were drinking.

This whole scenario began to change when an English physicist named Willian Gilbert began to study electricity, still in the seventeenth century. From these studies, more and more studies were done that led scientists to discover how to produce electricity.

16.     Photography

After centuries in which the only way to portray a person was through paintings, in 1826 Joseph Nicéphore Niépce created the first permanent photographic image. After replacing the bitumen used in his invention with silver, the researcher created the method responsible for allowing everyone to keep for themselves trustworthy portraits of their relatives and friends – and eventually evolved to allow the creation of the cinema and the entire film industry.

17.     Batteries

Created in 1779, the voltaic cell presented by the Italian scientist Alessandro Volta began what would later become the lithium-ion batteries we use in our electronic devices. Were it not for this invention, we would hardly have reached an era in which it is difficult to think of a device that can not be far from an outlet to be able to function properly.

18.     Telephone

Although the invention of the first telephone was attributed to Antonio Meucci in 1849, Alexander Graham Bell, in 1876, laid the foundations of what was to become the apparatuses present in the homes of a large part of the world population. Not only did he set the standards for the area, he was the first to produce the device on a large scale – by 1886, 150,000 residences in the States already owned the invention.

19.     Television

Although the effect of this apparatus has been questioned to this day, since 1926 television has been used as a means of bringing entertainment, news and education to much of the world’s population. The popularity of the device is so great that in some countries, such as Brazil, its reach is greater than that of traditional media such as newspapers and magazines.

20.     Internet

(see also our article on World Internet Day  http://castanhalnews.com.br/?p=618 )

While it is not possible to assign an exact date or a creator for the invention of the internet, it is certain that the world-wide computer network began to take its first steps during the 60’s.

Representative Image Internet

Originally used by the US Army to transmit data between small networks, in a short time technology has progressed and has grown to a frightening scale. Since the 1980s, with the entry of companies and institutions in the network, its commercial potential began to be explored, and today it is difficult to think of a life without this revolutionary technology.

21.     RIO

 The quantum machine, which records the behavior of atoms and subatomic particles, was named the main scientific breakthrough of the year by the journal Science. Elaborated by the publication’s staff, the list of the ten largest advances of the year includes the vaginal gel that reduces HIV infection, the artificial genome and the DNA of the Neanderthal man. The most important discoveries of the year:

The quantum machine – Created by scientists Andrew Cleland and John Martins of the University of California, Santa Cruz, it consists of a small metal rod that behaves according to the rules of quantum physics and manages to be in two places at the same time.

22. The Artificial Genome

 Constructed by the American Craig Venter, the synthetic genome was able to change the identity of a bacterium when inserted into a part of its DNA. The discovery opens space for the development of new drugs, chemicals and biofuels.

The discovery of Svante Pääbo from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Germany has shown that Europeans and Asians have inherited 1 to 4 percent of Neanderthal DNA.

23.     AIDS Prophylaxis

The tests done in 2010 indicated that soon we will have new ways to prevent HIV infection. A vaginal gel containing the antiretroviral tenofovir was shown to be able to decrease the risk of contracting the disease by 39%. Already a medication of continuous usedecreased the cases of infection in 43.8%.

Rare disease genes – The discovery of the usefulness of ‘junk’ DNA has shown that innumerable diseases can be brought about by genetic mutations.

Molecular Dynamics Simulation – Scientists have been able to use the supercomputer to study the movement of atoms in detail.

Other Science invention and the inventor

1.     Carl Wilhelm Scheele was a chemist who managed to isolate the oxygen and nitrogen gases, just like Priestley.

2. Joseph Black (1728-1799) was a medical student at the University of Glasgow and completed his course defending the magnesium carbonate (alba magnesia). He realized that he released, when heated or attacked by acids, an “air” that would be “fixed” in him. This gas is now recognized as carbon dioxide. With this knowledge, Blacki proposed a substance that could be used as a medicine to combat heartburn.

3.     Robert Hooke has made important discoveries in the field of mechanics, inventing and perfecting many devices. He demonstrated that the function of respiratory movements is to provide the lungs with fresh air, paving the way for understanding the nature of respiration and the importance of air as a vital fluid.

4.     Michail Vasilievitch Lomonosov , a Russian physicist and theoretician, performed the isolation of gases such as nitrogen, chlorine, hydrogen and oxygen, but stood out more because of the discovery and characterization of various metallic elements such as cobalt, platinum, zinc, nickel, bismuth, manganese, molybdenum, tellurium, tungsten and copper.

5.     Henry Cavendish was a chemist who performed experiments in which he mixed metals with some acids. This resulted in the production of the hydrogen gas, which was isolated and studied next.

6.     Robert Boyle studied gases and published the origin and weight of air, in which he presented the law of gas compressibility. He also carried out studies on heat, electricity and magnetism.


7.      Joseph Priestley was a chemist who accidentally developed so-called carbonated drinks (presence of carbon dioxide). Priestley discovered that this gas, titled by him with fixed air, was able to extinguish the flames of a combustion. In addition, it has also been able to isolate and work with various gases, such as nitrogen dioxide, nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide.

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