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Today in Science History

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by PurpleFox, Jul 11, 2015.

  1. FDA approval for Da Vinci robot surgery

    In 2000, the da Vinci robot surgical system was the first to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in gallbladder, gastroesophageal reflux, and gynecologic operations. The advanced medical device was an offshoot of robotic technology developed by the U.S. Dept of Defense for military applications. In the 1990s, Intuitive Surgical, Inc. and Computer Motion (which merged in 2000) developed robotic interfaces for use in human surgical applications. A three- or four-armed robot, manipulates instruments with precise wrist-like dexterity, remotely controlled by the surgeon from a computer console. Instruments and cameras are guided through quite small openings in the body, which is much less invasive than previous methods, enabling earlier release from hospital and more rapid healing.

    Neanderthal origins

    In 1997, the first sequencing of pieces of DNA extracted from a Neanderthal-type specimen was published in the journal Cell, by a team of scientists led by Svent Pääbo. In the groundbreaking study, mitochondrial DNA was amplified from a sample (a small piece of the arm bone) from the first Neanderthal man found (1856). “The Neanderthal sequence falls outside the variation of modern humans.” The results suggested that from their common origin (“African Eve”), Neanderthals split off from humans a little over 550,000 years ago as a separate species and “went extinct without contributing mtDNA to modern humans.” (Using population models, Pääbo, more recently estimated that Neanderthals could have contributed up to 25% of their genetic makeup to modern human, but likely much less.


    In 1991, a Please or Register to view links cast a blanket of darkness stretching 9,000 miles from Hawaii to South America, lasting nearly seven minutes in some places. It was the so-called eclipse of the century. A total solar eclipse - the moon passing between the sun and the earth - is the moon's shadow cast on the casting its shadow on the earth's surface. Total eclipses occur almost once per year, but are often over an ocean or remote countries. The solar eclipse on July 11, 1991, was a thrill for scientists. It travelled over the several astronomical Please or Register to view links on the top of Mauna Kea. Their 14,000 feet elevation was actually above the cloud level, which obstructed the view for those below.

    Surgical Zippers

    In 1985, zippers for stitches were announced by Dr. H. Harlan Stone this day. The surgeon had used zippers on 28 patients, on whom he thought he might have to re-operate, because of internal bleeding following initial Please or Register to view links. The zippers which lasted between five and 14 days, were then replaced with permanent stitches. Current types of surgical Please or Register to view links are self-adhesive in application and can be applied to both outpatients and inpatients. Uncomplicated wound inspection is possible from the third postoperative day. However, it is possible earlier with manual support to either side of the wound.

    Skylab re-entry

    In 1979, the U.S. space station, Skylab, re-entered the Earth's atmosphere. It disintegrated, spreading fragments across the southeastern Indian Ocean and over a sparsely populated section of western Australia, where a cow died after being struck by a piece of falling debris.

    Terracotta Army

    In 1975, Chinese archeologists announced the uncovering of a 3-acre burial mound concealing 6000 clay statues of warriors and their regalia dating from 221 to 206 BC. The " Please or Register to view links" was uncovered near the ancient capital of Xian. The 7,000 lifesize clay soldiers and horses were buried in pits in battle formation facing east to guard the tomb of China's first emperor, Qin Shi Huang. The figures were modeled after the emperor's real army, and each face is different. The buried wonder was found in 1974 in the course of digging a well.

    Triborough Bridge

    In 1936, the Please or Register to view links Bridge linking Manhattan, Bronx & Queens Please or Register to view links. The Triborough Bridge connects Queens, Manhattan, and the Bronx. The Public Works Administration (PWA) financed this project. It runs from the northwestern tip of Queens to 125th St. in Manhattan, with an off ramp leading into the Bronx. President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave Please or Register to view links at the Dedication.

    Berliner helicopter flight

    In 1908, Please or Register to view links (who invented the gramophone in 1887) in a trial of his first "test-rig" Please or Register to view links design, found it could potentially lift double its weight. While the Wright brothers were working on powered manned flight, by 1903, Berliner tested a 7-ft model rocket-powered airplane, which flew 40-ft before tumbling to ground. He began, in 1907, designing his helicopter with tandem intermeshing rotors. Although the Wrights by then had a successful rigid-wing aircraft, Berliner recognised the versatility of a Please or Register to view links. The 36-hp rotary engine he developed with the Adams-Farwell Company was the first application in aviation of the rotary engine, and had a weight advantage. He founded the Gyro Motor Company to promote rotary engines in aviation.

    Arctic Balloon Flight

    In 1897, Please or Register to view links of Sweden Please or Register to view links from Danes Island, Spitsbergen in a balloon, the Eagle, which he had built himself. With two companions, he hoped to drift over the North Pole. Thus Andrée, the Swedish scientist and his aeronauts made the world's first attempt by air to explore the Arctic. Nothing was heard of them for 33 years. Then on Please or Register to view links, Norwegian explorers found the remains of a balloonist, debris from the ballon itself, diaries and photos on White Island (Kvitöa). Just two days after their launch, an emergency landing on ice had been made. They eventually met their end in the bitter cold on the island, still hundreds of kilometres from the North Pole.

    East River Gas Tunnel

    In 1892, the East River Gas Tunnel became the first completed tunnel under the East River, New York City, after two years' work. The connection was made between bores Please or Register to view links from Long Island (26 Jun 1892) and on the New York side (10 Jul 1892). The Brooklyn Bridge over that river, opened Please or Register to view links, took 13 years to build. The 2550-ft tunnel was designed to carry gas mains, not public traffic, and was built relatively smaller: 8½-ft high by 10½-ft wide. While finish work was done in the tunnel, a gas main was laid that first delivered gas on 15 Oct 1894. Illuminating gas from works on Long Island could then be distributed through Manhattan. The tunnelling success also provided practical knowledge enabling more tunnels under the East River. Work on four railroad tunnels commenced in 1904.


    In 1811, Italian scientist Amedeo Avogadro published his memoire about the molecular content of gases.

    Pons Comet

    In 1801, French astronomer Jean-Louis Pons (24 Sep 1761 - 14 Oct 1831) discovers his first comet. In Please or Register to view linkshe discovered or co-discovered up to 37 comets. Since 1789, when he got a post at the Observatory at Marseilles as concierge, Pons quickly learned how to make observations with the instruments. He had a remarkable ability to remember the star fields he observed and to recognize changes. He logged his first discovery of a comet on 11 July 1801, which he had to share with Messier who found it a day later. Interestingly, as Pons' made his first comet discovery, that comet was Messier's last. Almost once every year, thereafter until 1827 when he eyesight declined, Pons found a new comet. Jean-Louis Pons set the record for visual discoveries of comets by an individual.
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