Saccharin was accidentally discovered by a Russian chemist who forgot to wash his hands after working in the lab and noticed his food tasted quite sweet, and after ruling out the possibility of the food being made that way, he concluded that it was due to the chemicals coating his hands.
There have been actual scientific studies comparing apples and oranges in order to prove that you can in fact compare apples and oranges. One such study conducted by a NASA researcher named Scott Sandford used infrared spectroscopy to analyze and compare the fruits.
According to a University of Pennsylvania study, you are more likely to remember the news if it is delivered in concert with jokes. The rise of comedy-news programs, like Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert or John Oliver, may actually help inform the public. A new neuroimaging study using fMRI suggests that humor might make news and politics more socially relevant, and therefore motivate people to remember it and share it.
Researchers have developed a self-cleaning surface which uses nano-scale surface engineering and chemistry. It can repel/prevent the transfer of antibiotic-resistant superbugs and other bacteria. The material can be shrink-wrapped onto door handles, railings, and other surfaces.
In an experiment that trained rats to drive tiny cars by giving treats as a reward, rats ended up loving driving so much they’d do it without a reward.
After losing her position in her university’s anatomy department in 1938, Rita Levi-Montalcini set up a laboratory in her bedroom and studied the growth of nerve fibers in chicken embryos. This work led to her discovery of nerve growth factor, for which she was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1986.
Marconi believed, late on in life, that no sound ever dies completely. He dreamt of building a device strong enough to pick up the actual words of Jesus at the ‘Sermon on the Mount’.
A ‘gömböc’ is a 3-d shape that will always end up settling in the same position regardless of how it was originally placed. The mathematics of these shapes has helped explain why tortoises can roll back over onto their legs when they’re placed with their shell to the ground.
In 1981 a group of scientists met to discuss ways of making future humans aware of nuclear waste disposal sites. One idea was genetically engineering cats to change color in the presence of radiation and introducing a cultural idea to run away when you see a cat change color.
In Russian culture “British Scientists” is a running joke and Internet meme used as an ironic reference to absurd news reports about scientific discoveries, particularly ones that have no practical value. For example, “British scientists debunked the myth that mice love cheese.”