Pitch drop – The longest laboratory experiment

University of Queensland - AustraliaUniversity of Queensland - ExperimentPitch drop experiment with demarcation of yearsPitch drop experiment with demarcation of years and monthsPitch drop experiment - Chart of months between drops (1938 - 2014)

Pitch drop – The longest laboratory experiment

Pitch drop – Prof. Thomas Parnell from the Australian University of Queensland wanted to show students that some substances, although they appear to be constant. In fact, they are very viscous liquids. He poured hot tar into the glass, sealed funnel . More precisely the so-called coal tar, which is forming by distillation of tar. He waited three years and opened the funnel.
The tar began to flow down at such a slow pace that only after a few years a drop formed at the end of the funnel. After a decade, it broke away and fell into the dish. This has happened nine times since 1927.

The last drop fell in 2014, another should fall in about nine years.

Pitch drop experiment conducted in Australia in 2005 got Ig Nobel. Project recognized as the longest-lasting laboratory experiment. It went to the “Guinness Book of Records”. They can even be viewed using a webcam (broadcasts are monitored by several hundred people a day).

HeLa cell cultures – Cellular biology record

HeLa cell cultures - Multiphoton fluorescence image of HeLa cellsHeLa cell cultures - Multiphoton fluorescence image of HeLa cells with cytoskeletal microtubules and DNAHeLa cell - Scanning electron micrographHeLa cell cultures - 6.10.2015HeLa cells stained

 

HeLa cells - Scanning electron micrograph of just divided cellsMulticolor fluorescence image of living HeLa cell - 1.10.2014Multicolor fluorescence image of living HeLa cells - 1.10.2014HeLa cells - 27.11.2011Multiphoton fluorescence image of HeLa cells

HeLa cell cultures – Cellular biology record

HeLa cell cultures – They are the record of cellular biology. They have been used by scientists around the world for nearly seven decades. They come from Henrietta Lacks, a patient who died of cervical cancer in 1951. Cancer cells that were taken from without her consent and knowledge. George Otto Gey, a researcher at Johns Hopkins Hospital, examined them.
He discovered that cells divide extremely efficiently and do not die.
Science had no such material at its disposal before.

Immortal cells are used to research new drugs and vaccines.

They were sent into space (to check if low gravity would damage human tissues) and helped in gene mapping. It is estimated that all HeLa cells that have been produced in laboratories weigh a few dozen thousand tons in total.
Much more than Henrietta Lacks, who has almost been forgotten for many decades.

Xerox – Known for production of copiers and printers

Xerox - logoXerox - Apple LisaXerox - Alto

Xerox – Known for production of copiers and printers

Xerox – The company, known primarily for the production of copiers and printers, was founded in 1906 in Rochester in the USA. Initially, it focused on the production of photographic paper. Chester Carlson in 1938 created the first photocopier in the laboratory. Gradually, the company began to specialize in the production of copiers. In 1956, the 914 model was released to the market. It was the first fully automatic office copier. Later, the company started cooperation with Apple. It is no secret that in 1963, Douglas Engelbart presented the design of the device, which began to be called a mouse. It was to make it easier to control a computer with a graphical interface. Xerox also produced personal computers. The most famous is Alto. Despite the revolutionary idea, the board decided not to sell the device. They invited Steve Jobs, who liked the project so much that he immediately used it in his project Lisa, which he worked on. Other known products include the 9700 laser printer, Ethernet and electronic paper known as the SmartPaper.

Minor metals – Breakthrough in perception of metals

Minor metals - Metal element from Late Bronze AgeMinor metals - Manufacturing opportunities in the state of Washington, USA, 1918

Minor metals – Breakthrough in perception of metals

Minor metals – Even before the World War II, many metals were known for which there was no practical use. It belonged to a kind of laboratory curiosities, obtained in a small amount and at enormous cost. It was so-called minor metals (rare metals) – unlike basic metals, which has been used en masse, the industry did not know how to use them. In those days, it was all the same, how rarely these metals occur in nature. It was not mined because it wasn’t needed for anything. A classic example of minority metals was nickel, up to the time when in 1919 stainless steel began to be manufactured. Then nickel became a very valued element.