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(1915 â€“ 1919) Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity in which he proposed that mass warps both time and space, therefore large masses can bend light. The theory is proven in 1919 by astronomers using a solar eclipse as a test.
(1905) Overthres basic assumptions about time and space by describing how clocks tick slower and distances appear to stretch as objects approach the speed of light.
(1985) Discovered that some DNA sequences are unique to each individual, leading to the birth of DNA forensics. His DNA technique was first used to hunt down a child molester who killed two girls. The suspect, Colin Pitchfork, was convicted of murder after DNA samples taken from him matched semen samples taken from the two dead girls.
(6 August 1881 â€“ 11 March 1955) Scottish biologist and pharmacologist. Discovered the enzyme lysozyme in 1922 and isolated the antibiotic substance penicillin from the fungus Penicillium Notatum in 1928.
(1911) Proposed that all the continents in the world once formed a single, giant landmass that was eventually split apart in a process called "continental drift." Wegener's evidence consisted of the "fit" of South America with Africa, fossil distribution and geological similarities.
(1674) Microscope lens grinder Anton Van Leeuwenhoek accidentally discovered micro-organisms in a drop of water. Using his own microscopes, he observed sperm, bacteria and red blood cells. His observations lay the foundation for the sciences of bacteriology and microbiology.
(1906) Discovered that the Earth's magnetic field has changed direction and reversed itself. His paleomagnetic study of clay baked by a Miocene lava flow 13 million years ago provided the evidence. It was nearly 50 years before his discovery was accepted by the scientific community.
(1907) Discovered how to calculate the age of a rock by measuring the rate of its radioactive decay. His observations and calculations put Earth's age at 2.2 billion years. Although we now think the Earth is nearly twice that age, this number was a dramatic increase over the accepted age at the time. Boltwood's formulas are compatible with several radioactive elements, including carbon-14, which has been used to date historical artifacts.
(1860s â€“ 1870s) Realized that if all of the 63 known elements are arranged in order of increasing atomic weight, their properties are repeated according to certain periodic cycles. He formulated the periodic table of the elements and predicted the existence of elements that have not yet been discovered. Three of those elements were found during his lifetime: gallium, scandium and germanium.
Observed that plant cells divide in stages. Walther Flemming independently identified a similar process of cellular division in animal cells.
(1796) Edward Jenner, an English country doctor, performed the first vaccination against smallpox after discovering that inoculation with cowpox provides immunity. Jenner formulated his theory after noticing that patients who work with cattle and had come into contact with cowpox never came down with smallpox when an epidemic ravaged the countryside in 1788.
(1924 â€“ 1929) Edwin Hubble determined the distance to many nearby galaxies and discovered that the farther they are from us, the faster they are flying away from us. His calculations proved that the universe is expanding.
(1920s) Frederick Banting and his colleagues discovered the hormone insulin, which helps balance blood sugar levels in diabetes patients and allows them to live normal lives. Before insulin, diabetes meant a slow and certain death.
(1604) He overturned nearly 2,000 years of Aristotelian belief that heavier bodies fall faster than lighter ones by proving that all bodies fall at the same rate.
(1930s) Discovered that Prontosil, an orange-red dye, cured infections caused by the common bacteria streptococci. The finding opened the door to the synthesis of chemotherapeutic drugs (or "wonder drugs") and sulfa drugs in particular.
(1850s) Austrian monk and botanist Gregor Mendel discovered how genetic information is passed down through generations. In experiments performed on pea plants, he noticed that characteristics of a plant's offspring, such as height, exhibit recessive and dominant behavior. Mendel's findings are ridiculed during his lifetime and he dies never knowing that he would come to be known as the "father of genetics."
(1937) Identified the many steps the cell takes to convert sugars, fats and proteins into energy. Also known as the citric acid cycle, it is a series of chemical reactions using oxygen as part of cellular respiration. The cycle contributes to the breakdown of carbohydrates, fats and proteins into carbon dioxide and water.
(1975) Harold Varmus and Michael Bishop discovered oncogenes â€” normal genes that control growth in every living cell, but can contribute to converting normal cells into cancer cells if mutated or present in abnormally high amounts. Cancer cells are cells that multiply uncontrollably.
English archaeologist and Egyptologist
Sir Isaac Newton, (1642-1727), mathematician and physicist, clearly more than merely an observer of apples!
(1687) Changed our understanding of the universe by formulating three laws to describe the movement of objects. 1) An object in motion remains in motion unless an external force is applied to it. 2) The relationship between an object's mass (m), its acceleration (a) and the applied force (F) is F = ma. 3) For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
(1935) Discoveed neutrons, which, together with protons and electrons comprise the atom. This finding dramatically changed the atomic model and accelerated discoveries in atomic physics.
Watson and Crick discovered the "double helix" structure of the DNA molecule in 1953.
Discovered in the 1770s that plants react differently to sun and shade
(1897) Discovered that the negatively charged particles emitted by cathode ray tubes are smaller than atoms and part of all atoms. He called these particles, now known as electrons, "corpuscles."
Germany, 1846. He used the calculations of Urbain Le Verrier to know where to look. [wikipedia]
Dalton's 1808 theory states that elements consist of tiny particles called atoms. It was inspired by the work of Greek Ionian Leucippus and his student, Democritus.
Originally called it 'dephlogisticated air'
(1902) Austrian biologist Karl Landsteiner and his group discovered four blood groups and developed a system of classification. Knowledge of the different blood types is crucial to performing safe blood transfusions, now a common practice.
(1890s) With the aid of scientific instruments placed on unmanned balloons, he discovered that the atmosphere consists of layers. Bort noticed that air temperature decreases steadily up to about seven miles, but remains constant at higher altitudes. After more than 200 balloon experiments, he suggested that the atmosphere is divided into two layers called the "troposphere" and the "stratosphere."
(1962) Proposed the existence of fundamental particles that combine to form composite objects such as protons and neutrons. A quark has both an electric and a "strong" charge. Protons and neutrons each contain three quarks.
Placed the sun, not the Earth, at the centre of the solar system.
Identified in 1831 while studying a structure within an orchid cell
(1985) They discovered an entirely new class of carbon compound with a cage-like structure. This led to the discovery of similar tube-like carbon structures. Collectively, the compounds come to be called buckminsterfullerenes, or fullerenes. The molecules are composed entirely of carbon and take the form of a hollow sphere, ellipsoid, tube or ring. Named for Richard Buckminster Fuller, the architect who created the geodesic dome, they are sometimes called "buckyballs" or "buckytubes."
(1980s) Competing scientists Robert Gallo and Luc Montagnier separately discovered a new retrovirus later dubbed HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), and identified it as the causative agent of AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).
(1879) Observed that animal cells divide in stages and called the process mitosis. Eduard Strasburger independently identified a similar process of cellular division in plant cells.
Roentgen was kicked out of technical school as a teenager after being falsely accused of drawing a caricature of a teacher. A physicist who preferred to work alone and make most of his equipment, he discovered x-rays in 1895.
(1628) Discovered that blood circulates through the body and named the heart as the organ responsible for pumping the blood. His groundbreaking work, 'Anatomical Essay on the Motion of the Heart and Blood in Animals', published in 1628, laid the groundwork for modern physiology.
Named hormones and revealed their roles as chemical messengers
Sir Frederick William Herschel, England, 1781.
Sir Frederick William Herschel, England, 1781.
It was discovered in 1898. Ramsay would go on to win the Nobel for his discoveries of a series of noble gases, including krypton.
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