The work of scientists can be mind-blowing stuff, and to many of us we’ll never be in a position to fully understand the workings behind some of these lab discoveries, but we’ll certainly reap the benefits.
So read on for some great little snippets to bring up in the pub, after all, everyone likes lab discoveries. They have everything from intrigue to excitement and even danger.
1927 – The Big Bang Theory
Ok, so the Big Bang Theory may not have been discovered in a lab, but it was presented by Georges Lemaître in 1927 and there’s plenty proof. We still don’t know exactly how the universe began but this theory has certainly stood the test of time and has now been inspiring scientists gazing up at the stars for more than 80 years. His theory was that the universe was once compressed into a tiny dot which, within a fraction of a second, expanded filling the universe with the matter that now makes up the night sky we see today.
1928 – Penicillin
Possibly the most famous of lab discoveries, Penicillin was discovered by Alexander Fleming. As the story goes the discovery was an accident, when Fleming discovered mould growing in one of his petri dishes after coming back from a holiday. We’ve all done it, missed a mug when washing up, only to find some aggressive looking substance has made its home in the bottom after a week. And that is how one of the most common medicines in your first aid box came to be.
1955 – Velcro
From such a simple activity as walking his dog, a man names George De Mestral discovered a plant with properties that he believed may come in handy. You’ll know the plant we mean, you might have called them something along the lines of ‘sticky bobs’ and used the long sticky vines to stick to classmates clothes, you know the ones? But while we were all playing games, George here was creating a version of this plant made from Nylon, which we now know as Velcro.
1998 – The Viagra pill
That little blue pill that if you haven’t used, you’ll have certainly have heard. It’s famous across the world, both for its medical results and for the comedy value, but did you know that Viagra started out as a medicine for angina. Two researchers Simon Campbell and David Roberts from Pfizer almost chucked away the drug, then called UK-92480, before realising that it could be used elsewhere.
2015 – Mars discoveries
We could call Mars a kind of lab. An extremely large, planet shaped lab. But NASA’s Curiosity Rover has made such interesting discoveries in the last few months that we couldn’t leave them out. The most exciting is that Mars could once have been an inhabitable place. Now this doesn’t mean we all could have hopped on a flight to Mars, for one thing this was many millions of years ago, however key ingredients have been found, needed for supporting life, including carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and sulphur. Next discovery is bound to be aliens eh?
If, unlike us, you’re one of the people who could possibly be changing the world one laboratory experiment at a time, then first of all, respect. And secondly we want you to have all the equipment and facilities you need to show off your skills. That is why we’re recommending the laboratory space at Manchester Science Park, spaces which you can lease for a range of terms.
So get out there and change the world.