Accidents are not always harmful. This stands true if we look back at the history of medicine. Scientists working on a drug have unintentionally created wonders for the mankind. Have a look at some of the great inventions in medicine that are a result of an accident:
On returning lab after a month’s holiday in 1928, Scottish doctor Alexander Fleming found that a culture of the bacteria staphylococcus aureus, which he had been experimenting with, was destroyed by a mould growing in petri dishes. This was the discovery of first antibiotic, which he named penicillin. The drug has saved numerous lives over the years.
The Implantable Pacemaker
Wilson Greatbatch invented the implantable pacemaker. He was working on a device that recorded heart rhythms, but after he mis-assembled the contraption, he found that it was making a heartbeat-like pulse. Greatbatch realized that this could instead be used as a pacemaker. After two years of modifications, his design was patented in 1960 and soon went for production.
Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas as it’s often called, was discovered in 1772 by an English clergyman and scientist Joseph Priestly. He found that putting iron fillings into nitric acid released the gas, which had anti-panic properties. But it wasn’t until the 1840s when forward-thinking doctors and dentists began experimenting with it as a tranquilizer. In between, it had mainly been used as a mood enhancer at parties and gained a reputation as something of a recreational drug.
Vaseline was discovered in Pennsylvania when workers of an oil refinery complained about a sticky substance that was clogging their equipment. Robert Chesebrough, an oilman took the mysterious substance to a laboratory in New York. He found out that the chemical was very useful at healing scrapes and cuts. He even ate a spoonful of it every day.
Two doctors in a bid to find out the role of pancreas in digestion, removed one from the body of a healthy dog. They noticed that flies were swarming over the urine of dog. They later found out that it was because of the sugar present in the urine and the removal of pancreas has given diabetes to the dog.
German physicist Wilhelm Roentgen while experimenting with cathode ray tubes noticed an unusual glow at some distance from the tube. He concluded that this was because of a new kind of radiation. He called them X-Rays, X for unknown. He later found that they could penetrate wood, paper and even human skin.
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