Page 4 - Science Facts

How do you achieve scientific breakthroughs? You trip on acid. At least this guy did.

Drugs are bad for you. There's no doubt that messing with the body's chemistry can have some serious side effects that can permanently alter the way it functions.

However, in some cases drugs can be used to unlock the great mysteries in the brain, permanently bettering society.

Such was the case with Kary Mullis, a Nobel Prize-winning biochemist who was grateful for his LSD use.

Mullins goes into great detail about his trips with various psychedelic amphetamines and a less-than-stellar trip on DET in his autobiography.

He was never shy about sharing his abundant use of LSD in the 1960s and early 1970s while living in Berkeley, California, and he claims it was a mind-opening experience. He credits it with many of his discoveries over any course he took in school.

In fact, he attributes LSD with helping him develop the polymerase chain reaction that helps amplify specific DNA sequences, which is a commonly used technique in molecular biology today. He was certain he wouldn't have invented the technique if it wasn't for that trippy drug.


A Russian geneticist experimented with domesticating silver foxes. They did not only start acting like dogs, but now some even have floppy ears and patterns on their fur!

Russian geneticist, Dmitry K. Belyaev, wanted to find out how wild animals originally became domesticated.

He believed animals were originally selected based on their tamability traits, and not based on physical features or strengths.

He wanted to test his theory and started an ongoing experiment that has been running for over 50 years!

He chose the silver fox, a species similar to dogs in its taxonomy, but also a species that has never before been domesticated.

During this experiment, breeding of the foxes were very closely monitored to ensure that absolutely no inbreeding occurred.

After forty years of intense selective breeding, the aggressive nature of wild foxes had completely disappeared from the domesticated foxes and they now display similar characteristics to dogs. They love human contact and will lick and sniff humans, but also have the independent traits of house cats.

What's most fascinating, though, is that they changed in appearance and no longer look like their wild family members!

Some of the domesticated foxes have floppy ears and even their fur color changed. Some of the foxes now have a star pattern on their faces like certain domesticated dog breeds.

The domesticated foxes also have shorter legs and broader and shorter muzzles than their wild counterparts.

The experimenters who have kept these foxes as pets say that they are amazingly good-natured animals and just as devoted as dogs.

Maybe silver foxes will become the next man's best friend?


Although Dmitry Mendeleev developed the periodic table of elements, he saw himself as a political economist and contributed greatly to Russia's economic development

The Russian chemical scientist, Dmitry Mendeleev, is widely known for developing the periodic table of elements.

But in Mendeleev's mind, this area of study was not his forte.

Mendeleev said: "Do you think I'm a chemist? I actually am a political economist."

He was right.

He created a development program for Russia based on industry instead of agriculture and by the end of 1890, when Russia started facing serious economic problems, Mendeleev’s authority on the subject started to be recognized.

He calculated the country’s custom tariffs and according to Maxim Savchenko, a professor at the Russian Customs Academy, “Not a single important decision concerning trade and industry was carried out without Mendeleev's approval."

Mendeleev predicted that oil would become a key component of the world economy and was the first to suggest the idea of using pipelines to transport the resource.

"Of the three major schools of thought in Russian economics, the most meaningful today is based on the ideas of Dmitry Ivanovich Mendeleev," said Mikhail Antonov, an economist at the Moscow-based Institute of Russian Civilization.


Some awesome lists!

Separating bananas from their bunch slows down the ripening process

Fruit ripens. We all know that. It gets softer, less green and often sweeter even though there’s a higher acidity level.

Not all fruit ripens at the same speed, however, and sometimes it’s possible to speed up or slow down a fruit's ripening process.

If you want a banana to ripen fast, you should keep it in its bunch, and if you want it to last a little longer before ripening, separate it.

It’s been shown that when a banana is separated from the bunch, it takes longer to ripen.

Around the world, people have been speeding up the process of ripening for thousands of years. Ancient Egyptian harvesters slashed open the figs they collected to stimulate ripening, and Chinese farmers would leave pears in closed rooms with incense burning.

Both of these things have been proven to speed up ripening.


Do you sit down at work? It may be killing you!

Parents are always telling their energetic children to sit down and stay quiet.

Let's hope they don't continue obeying that rule as they get older since sitting still is one of the biggest causes of premature death in the world.

Couch potatoes be warned! Get off your butt and go have some fun.

A lack of physical activity isn't just one of the most common causes of death in the world—it's also the most preventable death.

The risk starts to greatly increase for those that sit more than five hours a day, which is way long than the average office work day.

If you don't just keel over and die from sitting around too much, you may come down with some chronic disease.

People who sit for more than four hours a day have a 40 percent higher risk of things like depression, diabetes, colon cancer, high blood pressure and a whole mess of other non-fun things.

The cure is exercise. People who work out four hours a week or more are as healthy as those that sit less than four hours a day. Get out and take a walk!



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