Irène Curie was born in Paris on September 12, 1897. She was the first daughter of Marie Curie and Pierre Curie, scientists who weren’t well known yet at the time of Irène’s birth. Things have changed quickly in a few years. Wilhelm Roentgen has just recently discovered the X-rays in 1895, but it was not yet understood what caused their existence. After Henri Becquerel discovered that uranium salts emitted rays
Humans manufacture 300 million tons of plastic every year. 8 million tons are estimated to end up in oceans every year. If it all washed up on the coast at once, it’s enough to cover every coastline on the globe with a significant layer of trash. You can imagine it as a neverending stack of garbage about 50 cm tall, and 50 cm wide (that’s about 1.6 ft). Marine plastics
Lego bricks are one of most celebrated toys in history. The interlocking plastic toy blocks were introduced by Danish company Lego in 1949. In 1958 the brick design was perfected. Company engineers have spent five years trying to find the perfect material. After they picked the material (ABS plastic) and the basic design, it never changed again. You can take Lego blocks from 1960s, pick a new set in a
Cultures in humans and animals are maintained through interactions among representatives of the species. Just as children learn to speak from their elders, many young bird species learn to sing the right song by associating with other older members of the same species. It’s important for birds to learn how to sing properly because song helps birds in securing a nesting territory and a partner.
A placebo is a substance or treatment designed to have no real therapeutic quality. The placebo effect is patient’s perceived belief in treatment’s effectiveness. It has been studied since 18th century, and confirmed by influential 1955 research study titled The Powerful Placebo. Patients can perceive therapeutic outcome of treatment even when they are treated with sugar pills that cannot possibly have real medicinal value.
Ever since Charles Darwin found spiders inexplicably appearing onboard HMS Beagle in 1832, scientists wondered about mechanisms allowing spiders to travel in the air. Charles Darwin was surprised to find thousands of small red spiders aboard his ship which was 60 miles offshore. “In the evening all the ropes were coated & fringed with Gossamer web,” wrote Darwin in his diary. The tiny arachnids were wingless, as all spiders are.
Not only World War II started in 1939 in Europe. Another disturbing event that went on until 1980s was epidemic of rabies. The disease was carried by red foxes, and it spread onto domestic animals. Rabies is almost always fatal, also for humans (unless a vaccine is provided).
Heroin and synthetic opioids are among most dangerous drugs in the world. Heroin has caused almost 16,000 deaths in the United States in 2017, a huge increase from 2,000-3,000 annual deaths between 2002 and 2010. This tragic trend asks for solutions. Other countries may have found them, but some persons may not like this treatment idea.