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The Wright brothers: The Wright Flyer III | Need For Science

The Wright brothers: The Wright Flyer III | Need For Science

In a small town in Germany, a man named Otto Lilienthal had been studying and sketching birds for about twenty years. He had dozens of notebooks, all filled with drawings of different birds in flight, of birds, rising, soaring, and landing. There were drawings of the wings of birds too – in various positions, from different angles, overviews, and close-ups. Lilienthal wasn’t an ornithologist; he wasn’t even a scientist. He was a man, like men throughout the ages, who was obsessed with flying. Lilienthal thought that if he observed birds closely enough, someday he’d be able to build a...

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Nov 18
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The brilliant mind of Albert Einstein | Need For Science

The brilliant mind of Albert Einstein | Need For Science

Albert Einstein was one of the world’s great revolutionaries. But his arena was not the halls of government, or the city streets, or the remote battlefield. His arena was the human mind. What he revolutionized was the entire human perspective on space, time, and the nature of the universe. Einstein took the prevailing theories on physics, which dated back two hundred years to Isaac Newton, and radically re-worked them. His theories, especially his Theory on Relativity, had a dramatic and immediate impact on human history and the future of scientific thought.As the world becomes more...

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Sep 22
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Louis Pasteur: Father of modern microbiology | Need For Science

Louis Pasteur: Father of modern microbiology | Need For Science

The little boy was standing in the hallway, crying pitifully as people bustled about him. His mother stood nearby, wringing her hands and begging to see the famous doctor. The boy was only nine years old and his name was Joseph Meister. Joseph had been playing happily near his home in the Alsatian hills of France when a rabid dog suddenly attacked him. The dog would have killed him but for the intervention of a bricklayer who drove the beast off. As it was, little Joseph had been bitten fourteen times. The year was 1885. There was no known treatment or cure for rabies or hydrophobia as it...

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Nov 13
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Alexander Fleming: The discovery of penicillin | Need For Science

Alexander Fleming: The discovery of penicillin | Need For Science

It is probably the most famous speck of dust in history. No one knows where it came from, although there have been many guesses. But it was almost as if a benevolent God pursed His lips and blew – sending it wafting in the summer air, through the laboratory window, and onto the petri dish that was sitting before researcher Alexander Fleming. It was a speck of dust that would create a revolution in medicine and it held a secret that would save the lives of millions of people in the years to come…the secret of penicillin.Alexander Fleming was just the right man to be sitting there that day...

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Nov 1
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Martin Luther King Jr: Civil rights movement | Need For Science

Martin Luther King Jr: Civil rights movement | Need For Science

It all started on a train ride when he was just a child. Martin Luther King was sitting with his family in the dining car, preparing for lunch, when suddenly the porter entered and drew down a curtain. The curtain was to separate black diners from white diners, and to prevent the whites from even having to look at “the negroes.” The memory of this day stayed with King his entire life. He said later: “I felt just as if a curtain had come down across my whole life. The insult of it I will never forget.”Martin Luther King dedicated his life to tearing down curtains – curtains that separated...

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Nov 4
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The experiences of close ancestors are passed down to our DNA | Need For Science

The experiences of close ancestors are passed down to our DNA | Need For Science

Many believe that we are masters of our destiny, but new research reveals the extent to which genes influence our behavior and how the experiences of close ancestors are passed down into our DNA. Descendants of Holocaust survivors are at higher risk of developing anxiety.Today, it is possible to decipher the individual genetic code. It is a string of 3.2 billion DNA letters, unique for each of us, and it forms a kind of mold for our brain and body. What do genes give us? A new study by Hanna Critchlow from the Cambridge Institute reveals how strong the biological predisposition of our...

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Oct 27
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Henry Ford: The first moving assembly line | Need For Science

Henry Ford: The first moving assembly line | Need For Science

One warm rainy night in June, in the year 1896, Clara Ford heard a terrible hammering noise from the back of her house. Clara was used to loud noises – as were all her neighbors. Ever since Henry and Clara Ford had moved into the house on Bagley Avenue in Detroit two years before, there had been strange noises every night from the little brick shed in their back yard. Hissing noises – banging noises – and sometimes a loud roar. Occasionally they could see sparks or smoke drifting out the windows. The Fords seemed a nice enough couple. They had a baby son named Edsel who was home with his...

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Oct 16
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The bio-relevant elements of the periodic table | Need For Science

The bio-relevant elements of the periodic table | Need For Science

The chemical elements that make up the cells of living beings are called biogenic elements. They are present in all components of living beings, in inorganic or organic form. Of the 117 natural elements, 6 elements – carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, and sulfur – make up about 99% of living tissue. These elements have certain properties (small and light atoms, electrons near the nucleus, the ability to form strong and stable bonds) due to which, during the creation of life, they became elements that build living cells. Almost all of them appear in the compounds. Besides...

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Oct 26
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Octopus - an animal with three hearts, nine brains, and blue blood | Need For Science

Octopus - an animal with three hearts, nine brains, and blue blood | Need For Science

The brain of an octopus can be compared to the brain of a dog. However, in its structure, it differs significantly from the vertebrate brain, but that does not interfere with its efficient use. These cephalopods can change their own genome, adapt to unfavorable living conditions, and can fully compete with humans in the future. Why do cephalopods have the ability to transform into highly intellectual beings?In the late 1990s, Canadian scientists observed eight young octopuses enteroctopus dofleini. Each received four empty jars filled with air - two black and two white. The jars did not...

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Oct 18
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Dogon people: The tribe of star connoisseurs | Need For Science

Dogon people: The tribe of star connoisseurs | Need For Science

Mali is a small country in West Africa, over one million and two hundred thousand km2 in size. It is divided into ten regions. In the central part of Mali is the Mopti region, and in that area is the slope of Bandiagara. It’s a high sandstone cliff, in the center of the area inhabited by the Dogon people.  The population numbers between 400,000 and 800,000.The Dogon people have a rich culture dating back to 3200 BC, and anthropologists assume that it is a hybrid ethnic group formed by mixing ancient Egyptians of North Africa and other Sub-Saharian tribes. The deep-rooted Dogon tradition...

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Oct 3
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Quantum biology: The role of quantum mechanics in biology | Need For Science

Quantum biology: The role of quantum mechanics in biology | Need For Science

Although it is too early to make concrete claims based on previous research, the combination of biology and quantum mechanics could lead to interesting findings in the future. It is quite expected that the story of a world in which a particle can be in several places simultaneously intrigues almost everyone, so quantum physics with its enigmatic notions of superposition, dual nature of particles, and quantum intricacy stimulated the imagination and slowly but surely found its place in popular culture. Is there an invisible bridge that connects quantum physics with the ordinary world? 70...

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Oct 14
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The influence of gravity on the living world | Need For Science

The influence of gravity on the living world | Need For Science

Gravitational biology studies the effect of gravity on living organisms. During its existence on planet Earth, life evolved to survive changing conditions, such as climate and habitat change. However, the force of gravity has been a constant factor in evolution since life first began on Earth. As a consequence, all biological processes have adapted to the ever-present force of gravity, and even small variations of that force can have a significant impact on the health and functioning of living organisms.The great English physicist and mathematician Isaac Newton discovered and explained the...

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Oct 6
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Atom – From Democritus to Fermi | Need For Science

Atom – From Democritus to Fermi | Need For Science

At the beginning of the story of the atom were the ancient Greek thinkers Leucippus of Elea and Democritus of Abdera. They concluded with simple thinking that infinite indivisibility cannot function. We cannot unambiguously reproduce certain situations from it to explain the transition from one aggregate state to another. To be able to obtain one and the same substance or any other, there must be, they believed, some finite entities with defined properties. Leucippus and Democritus’ “atomic” thought has been dormant for almost a thousand and a half years, “killed” by practically religious...

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Oct 5
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Thomas Jefferson: Declaration of Independence | Need For Science

Thomas Jefferson: Declaration of Independence | Need For Science

On a chilly morning in March 1801, Thomas Jefferson awoke early, as was his habit. He always believed, and taught his children, that a key to success and happiness in life was to start each day as the sun was rising. Jefferson dressed in his usual work clothes, clean and well-tailored, but plain and simple. Later that morning, he left the modest boarding house in Washington D.C. in which he’d rented a room and walked several blocks to the appointment he had. When he returned later for dinner, he saw that all the places at the table were full. Rather than wait for the other boarders to...

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Oct 2
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Charles Darwin: Theory of Evolution | Need For Science

Charles Darwin: Theory of Evolution | Need For Science

Charles Darwin was a modest, unambitious scientist yet he had an enormous effect, not just on science, but also on all human thought. His famous theories on evolution completely redefined man's relationship to himself, to all other living forms, and even to his God. Darwin achieved this cataclysmic effect with the publication of a single work: his book The Origin of Species. On the surface, it seemed just a natural science text. Darwin himself intended it to be no more than a scientific theory about how biological life develops and evolves - a theory he was anxious to share with the...

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Sep 24
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Soliton - Korteweg-de Vries equation | Need For Science

Soliton - Korteweg-de Vries equation | Need For Science

We have known about waves since time immemorial. They were most likely first observed on the surface of the water. However, solitons were not noticed until the 19th century. Since then, this type of wave motion has been recognized in completely unexpected places: from the infinite expanses of the universe to the molecular level, even deeper, in the structure of space itself and elementary particles!Waves are a type of motion of the material environment in which its particles oscillate around their equilibrium positions and are connected to neighboring particles by elastic forces. Because of...

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Sep 13
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Marie Curie - Lady of science | Need For Science

Marie Curie - Lady of science | Need For Science

In her crude laboratory in a rough old shed that was steaming in summer and freezing in winter, Marie Curie had become entranced by a luminous glow that radiated from certain minerals on her working table. She was so tormented by this elusive radiance that she could barely think of anything else. For long hours she labored, night and day, missing sleep, sometimes scarcely eating, and often becoming weak and ill under the strain - all to uncover the secret of its source and strength. When she did discover it, she found an element with an unprecedented power to both destroy and heal. Curie...

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Sep 9
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Nanotechnology – Application in rocketry and cosmonautics | Need For Science

Nanotechnology – Application in rocketry and cosmonautics | Need For Science

The rapid development of rocketry in the second half of the 20th century created the basis for space exploration, which also led to significant industrial and scientific progress. The powerful propulsion engines of spacecraft still use essentially the same propulsion technology today as they did seven decades ago: a chemical reaction (solid or liquid fuels and oxidizers) in a rocket engine that produces gases that exit at high speed through a jet and create a huge thrust that allows great acceleration and propulsion of aircraft. The thrust generated by these large engines must be sufficient...

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Aug 28
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Radiation and its effects on living world | Need For Science

Radiation and its effects on living world | Need For Science

The term radiation means the emission or transmission of energy from some source. Very high energy radiation, which directly or indirectly creates ions, is called ionizing radiation. Ionizing radiation is the primary cause of “injuries” of protoplasm that occur in the matter that absorbs them. These radiations occur in nuclear reactions and processes, as well as special laboratory and industrial devices, and are also present in cosmic radiation.Radioactivity is the property of some chemical elements, i.e. substances, to emit invisible particles or high-energy rays. Isotopes of elements that...

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Aug 30
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Terraforming the Solar System | Need For Science

Terraforming the Solar System | Need For Science

The first attempts of 19th century astronomers to find out the basic facts about neighboring planets were limited by the modest capabilities of their telescopes and the unconscious desire to project the reality of the only world they knew - the mother planet Earth. Thus, the seasonal color changes of certain regions on Mars, which today are known to be the result of the formation of frozen CO2 frost and refraction of light in the Martian and Earth’s atmospheres, were interpreted as spring vegetation and optical illusions in the form of a network of straight lines on its surface - built by...

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Aug 5
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Pandemics throughout history | Need For Science

Pandemics throughout history | Need For Science

The coronavirus pandemic, which is not yet under control, only reminds us that infectious diseases accompany humans and mark the life of global society thousands of years ago. Epidemics of infectious diseases spread around the world even in the time long before the rapid migrations and international traffic as we know them today. We have realized that infectious diseases are the deadliest threat in the history of mankind - they have taken the lives of over 350 million people - with the potential to endanger not only health but also the entire lives of human societies, change the course of...

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Jul 27
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Vacuum energy - special case of zero-point energy | Need For Science

Vacuum energy - special case of zero-point energy | Need For Science

Scientists suspect it that the energy of empty space accelerates the expansion of the universe. Perhaps the vacuum is the missing piece of the puzzle to connect all the forces that rule the universe.Imagine the following experiment. Take a compact hollow ball, remove all matter from its interior, protect it from any external radiation and cool it to a temperature of absolute zero. You realize then there is a perfect vacuum like the one in the universe. You imagine what is happening inside the ball and you have reason to think that the few remaining atoms are in a complete state of peace and...

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Jul 20
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A new coronavirus pandemic - Global action in search of a vaccine | Need For Science

A new coronavirus pandemic - Global action in search of a vaccine | Need For Science

There is no vaccine for any of the known coronaviruses, not even for the causative agents of severe respiratory diseases, SARS and MERS. In a race against time, researchers today are trying to develop a vaccine for the latest coronavirus, which caused the COVID-19 pandemic. Some scientists hope that they will succeed before the end of this year.Four known coronaviruses that mainly cause the symptoms of the common cold have been circulating in the human population for decades, but there is no vaccine for any of them. Seventeen years after the SARS pandemic (severe acute respiratory syndrome)...

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Jul 11
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