Best discovery since the wheel!!!!


Argentina women stolen as baby during ‘Dirty War,’ reunited with biological family 40 years later

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Ever since a cave man chiseled on a slab of rock and created the wheel; there have been some very significant discoveries and inventions by mankind.

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Some of the discoveries have been beneficial to us and other not so.  Lets face it; as we evaluate their pluses and minuses, we could have done without the atomic bomb and some other very destructive brain-storms created by man.

THINK BIG

Top 20 Greatest Inventions of All Time

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Technology is a core component of the human experience. We have been creating tools to help us tame the physical world since the early days of our species. 

Any attempt to count down the most important technological inventions is certainly debatable, but here are some major advancements that should probably be on any such list (in chronological order): 

1. FIRE – it can be argued that fire was discovered rather than invented. Certainly, early humans observed incidents of fire, but it wasn’t until they figured out how to control it and produce it themselves that humans could really make use of everything this new tool had to offer. The earliest use of fire goes back as far as two million years ago, while a widespread way to utilize this technology has been dated to about 125,000 years ago. Fire gave us warmth, protection, and led to a host of other key inventions and skills like cooking. The ability to cook helped us get the nutrients to support our expanding brains, giving us an indisputable advantage over other primates. 

2. WHEEL – the wheel was invented by Mesopotamians around 3500 B.C., to be used in the creation of pottery. About 300 years after that, the wheel was put on a chariot and the rest is history. Wheels are ubiquitous in our everyday life, facilitating our transportation and commerce.

Ancient Egyptian chariot

Circa 2000 BC, Oxen drawing an ancient Egyptian two-wheeled chariot. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

3. NAIL – The earliest known use of this very simple but super-useful metal fastener dates back to Ancient Egypt, about 3400 B.C. If you are more partial to screws, they’ve been around since Ancient Greeks (1st or 2nd century B.C.). 

4. OPTICAL LENSES – from glasses to microscopes and telescopes, optical lenses have greatly expanded the possibilities of our vision. They have a long history, first developed by ancient Egyptians and Mesopotamians, with key theories of light and vision contributed by Ancient Greeks. Optical lenses were also instrumental components in the creation of media technologies involved in photography, film and television.

5. COMPASS – this navigational device has been a major force in human exploration. The earliest compasses were made of lodestone in China between 300 and 200 B.C.

Ancient Chinese compass

Circa 1121 BC, An ancient Chinese magnetic chariot. The figure, pointing to the south, moves in accordance with the principle of the magnetic compass. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

6. PAPER – invented about 100 BC in China, paper has been indispensible in allowing us to write down and share our ideas.  

7. GUNPOWDER – this chemical explosive, invented in China in the 9th century, has been a major factor in military technology (and, by extension, in wars that changed the course of human history).

8. PRINTING PRESS – invented in 1439 by the German Johannes Gutenberg, this device in many ways laid the foundation for our modern age. It allowed ink to be transferred from the movable type to paper in a mechanized way. This revolutionized the spread of knowledge and religion as previously books were generally hand-written (often by monks).

printing press 

1511, Printing Press, from the title page of ‘Hegesippus’ printed by Jodocus Badius Ascensius in Paris. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

9. ELECTRICITY – utilization of electricity is a process to which a number of bright minds have contributed over thousands of years, going all the way back to Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece, when Thales of Miletus conducted the earliest research into the phenomenon. The 18th-century American Renaissance man Benjamin Franklin is generally credited with significantly furthering our understanding of electricity, if not its discovery. It’s hard to overestimate how important electricity has become to humanity as it runs the majority of our gadgetry and shapes our way of life. The invention of the light bulb, although a separate contribution, attributed to Thomas Edison in 1879, is certainly a major extension of the ability to harness electricity. It has profoundly changed the way we live, work as well as the look and functioning of our cities.

10. STEAM ENGINE – invented between 1763 and 1775 by Scottish inventor James Watt (who built upon the ideas of previous steam engine attempts like the 1712 Newcomen engine), the steam engine powered trains, ships, factories and the Industrial Revolution as a whole.

Steam Engine

circa 1830: An early locomotive hauling freight. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

11. INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINE – the 19th-century invention (created by Belgian engineer Etienne Lenoir in 1859 and improved by Germany‘s Nikolaus Otto in 1876), this engine that converts chemical energy into mechanical energy overtook the steam engine and is used in modern cars and planes. Elon Musk’s electric car company Tesla, among others, is currently trying to revolutionize technology in this arena once again.

12. TELEPHONE – although he was not the only one working on this kind of tech, Scottish-born inventor Alexander Graham Bell got the first patent for an electric telephone in 1876. Certainly, this instrument has revolutionized our ability to communicate. 

13. VACCINATION – while sometimes controversial, the practice of vaccination is responsible for eradicating diseases and extending the human lifespan. The first vaccine (for smallpox) was developed by Edward Jenner in 1796. A rabies vaccine was developed by the French chemist and biologist Louis Pasteur in 1885, who is credited with making vaccination the major part of medicine that is it today. Pasteur is also responsible for inventing the food safety process of pasteurization, that bears his name.

14. CARS – cars completely changed the way we travel, as well as the design of our cities, and thrust the concept of the assembly line into the mainstream. They were invented in their modern form in the late 19th century by a number of individuals, with special credit going to the German Karl Benz for creating what’s considered the first practical motorcar in 1885.  

Karl Benz and family

Karl Benz (in light suit) on a trip with his family with one of his first cars, which was built in 1893 and powered by a single cylinder, 3 h.p. engine. His friend Theodor von Liebig is in the Viktoria. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

15. AIRPLANE – invented in 1903 by the American Wright brothers, planes brought the world closer together, allowing us to travel quickly over great distances. This technology has broadened minds through enormous cultural exchanges—but it also escalated the reach of the world wars that would soon break out, and the severity of every war thereafter.

16. PENICILLIN – discovered by the Scottish scientist Alexander Fleming in 1928, this drug transformed medicine by its ability to cure infectious bacterial diseases. It began the era of antibiotics. 

17. ROCKETS – while the invention of early rockets is credited to the Ancient Chinese, the modern rocket is a 20th century contribution to humanity, responsible for transforming military capabilities and allowing human space exploration. 

18. NUCLEAR FISSION – this process of splitting atoms to release a tremendous amount of energy led to the creation of nuclear reactors and atomic bombs. It was the culmination of work by a number of prominent (mostly Nobel Prize-winning) 20th-century scientists, but the specific discovery of nuclear fission is generally credited to the Germans Otto Hahn and Fritz Stassmann, working with the Austrians Lise Meitner and Otto Frisch.

Meitner and HahnAustrian nuclear physicist Lise Meitner (1878 – 1968) congratulates German chemist Otto Hahn (1879 – 1968) on his 80th birthday, Gottingen, Germany, 8th March 1959. The pair collaborated for 30 years in the study of radioactivity, work which culminated in the discovery of nuclear fission. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images) 

19. SEMICONDUCTORS – they are at the foundation of electronic devices and the modern Digital Age. Mostly made of silicon, semiconductor devices are behind the nickname of “Silicon Valley”, home to today’s major U.S. computing companies. The first device containing semiconductor material was demonstrated in 1947 by America‘s John Bardeen, Walter Brattain and William Shockley of Bell Labs.

20. PERSONAL COMPUTER – invented in the 1970s, personal computers greatly expanded human capabilities. While your smartphone is more powerful, one of the earliest PCs was introduced in 1974 by Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS) via a mail-order computer kit called the Altair. From there, companies like Apple, Microsoft, and IBM have redefined personal computing.

(BONUS) 21. THE INTERNET – while the worldwide network of computers (which you used to find this article) has been in development since the 1960s, when it took the shape of U.S. Defense Department’s ARPANET, the Internet as we know it today is an even more modern invention. 1990s creation of the World Wide Web by England’s Tim Berners-Lee is responsible for transforming our communication, commerce, entertainment, politics, you name it.

Where the hell would we be without all of the above? Some inventions enabled mankind to make advances in other direction, some good, some bad. Some inventions like the monster of disaster, the atomic bomb, made it possible to put an end to WW II. But as time passed, it’s technology fell into the wrong hands and has become a weapon of war, instead of peace.

The computer.  At the time of its invention, no one every could imagine all of the good and it’s beneficial elements that were made possible throughout the world. On the other side of the coin, look at all of the bad and negativity it has created. I guess that we can attribute the negativity to the cost we pay for making progress.

One of the most important and significant discoveries ever was DNA. The discovery of DNA has literally opened the doors in so many positive areas. I can not think of one negative side to it.

INDEPENDENT –  by Taboola 

Human DNA, the molecule of inheritance, carries the entire set of instructions for making a complete person from a single fertilised egg. So once James Watson and Francis Crick revealed its structure, the stage was set for 50 years of world-changing discoveries. In honour of that tight-knit package of 23 pairs of chromosomes, Steve Connor highlights 23 of the most significant breakthroughs

1. The shape of things to come

Two intertwining strands of DNA wrapped around a central axis to form a gently curving double helix: this instantly recognisable structure is one of the 20th century’s most powerful icons. Watson and Crick themselves felt that the double helix was so simple, so beautiful (it’s sometimes described as the “Mona Lisa” of science), that it had to be right, while its enigmatic symmetry made a powerful prediction about how genetic information is stored and transmitted from one generation to the next

2. The gene explained

For centuries philosophers pondered inheritance and how one person can be an amalgam of two parents. Cracking the structure of DNA explained how the fundamental unit of inheritance – the gene – works, and how it is replicated from one cell to the next and one generation to another. Now that they knew the molecular basis of the gene, scientists could understand how it can be damaged, and why such “mutations” can lead to harmful diseases or, occasionally, beneficial traits that can form the basis of a new trend in evolution.

 

3. Understanding inherited diseases

 

One of the first inherited diseases to be unravelled at the level of DNA was sickle-cell anaemia, a blood disorder that affects mostly Africans and natives of the Mediterranean region – areas badly affected by malaria. A single mutation in the gene for the blood protein haemoglobin can affect its ability to transport oxygen around the body. People who inherit two copies of the same mutation, one from each parent, have severe symptoms. However, those who inherit just one copy of the mutation do not suffer too badly; in fact, they are resistant to malaria. The discovery told geneticists much about evolution and how harmful mutations can increase to relatively high levels within a population provided they confer some advantage.

4. Curing inherited diseases

By understanding how a gene can go wrong, scientists can work out ways of putting it right – hopefully. In April 2002, Rhys Evans became the first child in Britain to be declared cured of an inherited disorder as a result of gene therapy, which involves “repairing” a defective gene by augmenting it with a healthy version. Rhys had inherited a defective Gamma C gene from his mother; this meant that his immune system did not function, making even the most innocuous infection life-threatening. He had spent his life inside a sterile “bubble”. Then a blood transfusion containing his own, genetically modified cells corrected the defect and enabled the 18-month-old to play outside with his friends for the first time in his life.

5. Predicting inherited disease

Some disorders are caused by several genetic defects acting in unison. Cancer is the classic example: it is caused by a cascade of cellular changes triggered by a series of mutations. But sometimes cancer can result from a defect in just one gene that runs in a family, such as the breast-cancer genes BRAC1 and BRAC2. Understanding this has led to the development of breast-cancer tests for women whose families carry the gene.

6. Upholding justice

In 1988, Colin Pitchfork was sentenced to life for the killing of a schoolgirl, Dawn Ashworth, after he became the first murderer to have his DNA matched to that of a tissue sample at the scene of a crime. What is less well known is that DNA fingerprinting, as it is known, was also used on another suspect who had already confessed to the same murder. The test proved that the confession was false. DNA fingerprints have revolutionised criminal investigations and have helped to protect the innocent as well as to convict the guilty.

7. Looking for daddy

Where would Elizabeth Hurley ( left) be without DNA testing? DNA tests on a child can establish paternity beyond reasonable doubt, even in a case where the putative fathers are both brothers (although this is not the case with identical twins, who share the same DNA sequence).

8. A dog’s life

DNA tests are used to confirm the pedigrees of pet dogs and cats, racehorses and livestock. They can establish the identity of illegally collected bird’s eggs and the hides of protected species.

9. Where we came from 1

DNA analysis supports the view that early humans moved out of Africa less than 100,000 years ago to colonise the world. DNA has shown that the first farmers migrated west from the Middle East across Europe. It has helped to establish when the first humans moved into Australia, reached the Pacific islands on boats and crossed the ice-locked Bering Strait into the uninhabited North American continent.

10. Where we came from 2

DNA tests on ancient bones have shown that Neanderthal man and modern humans are not closely related. Scientists now believe that Neanderthals, who lived alongside modern humans for thousands of years, never interbred with their close cousins. DNA tests on living people have revealed other ethnic and ancestral origins that have been lost over time. The ancestors of many Icelandic women came from Ireland rather than Norway. Many British Afro-Caribbean men inherited their male Y chromosomes from white ancestors who were alive at the time of the slave trade.

11. Egyptian mummies and Russian tsars

DNA tests on members of the British Royal Family helped to confirm that human remains buried in a pit in Russia were those of Tsar Nicholas II and his family, executed in 1918 by Soviet officials in the basement of a house in Ekaterinburg. Archaeologists use DNA tests to establish the family relationships of other long-dead people, from Egyptian pharaohs ( below) to the mummified remains of Mayan and Incan nobility.

12. The myth of race

Analysis of DNA has given racial stereotypes a battering – once you get to a molecular level, even the biological concept of race begins to look meaningless. When scientists studied the DNA of Israeli Jews and Arabs – two groups culturally separated by religion and ethnicity – they discovered a genetic affinity that could only be explained by a close relationship in the relatively recent past. In fact, human DNA shows surprisingly small variation between the races. The similarity of DNA sequences across the globe indicates that the human species has passed through a “genetic bottleneck”, the result of the relatively small number of people – perhaps numbering no more than a few thousand – who initially migrated out of Africa.

13. Clean medicines

The protein Factor 8 is one of a number of clotting agents, naturally occurring in a healthy person’s blood, that stops them bleeding to death if they cut or bruise themselves. Twenty years ago haemophiliacs – who lack the protein because of a defective gene – relied on transfusions of Factor 8 from blood donors. As a result, many contracted viral infections such as hepatitis and HIV from contaminated donors. Now it is possible to make virus-free Factor 8 artificially, using genetically engineered microbes. Other genetically engineered medicines, such as insulin and human growth hormone, have also liberated patients from the spectre of contamination.

14. Oncomouse

In the 1980s, a genetically modified mouse with a cancer-causing gene became the first living creature to be caught up in the bitter row about the rights and wrongs of animal patenting. Oncomouse was important to science because it was genetically predetermined to develop cancer – and anything that delayed or prevented this destiny might be useful for anti-cancer treatments. The debate it caused continues to this day, as more laboratory animals are genetically engineered for biomedical research.

15. Feeding the world – or not

The first experiments with genetically modified crops took place in the 1980s. Since then, DNA manipulation has enabled scientists to insert genes into plants that confer resistance to pests and herbicides, as well as improving the nutritional content of staple crops – such as rice enriched with beta-carotene. America and China are both planting thousands of square miles of land with GM crops, but Europe is still questioning whether this is an agricultural revolution too far. Like it or not, however, GM food is changing the world.

16. Manufacturing death

An extreme example of genetic engineering is the deliberate manipulation of a deadly microbe to make it even more infectious or toxic to humans. Last year scientists made a complete polio virus from scratch using standard laboratory equipment and DNA reagents ordered over the internet. The virus caused paralysis and death when injected into mice. And there are real fears that terrorists, or a rogue state, could manipulate the genes of more deadly agents such as anthrax, or even smallpox, to make the threat more potent.

17. Delaying ageing

Understanding the nature of DNA has shed light on the ageing process. Certain genes are known to prolong the longevity of fruit flies and in 1984 scientists discovered that the enzyme telomerase, which rebuilds the tips of chromosomes, can extend the life of individual cells. But we’re still some way away from discovering the secret of eternal youth.

18. The mega-jab

A radical approach to immunisation is to inject raw DNA directly into patients. Tests are already under way to induce immunity to a range of infections. DNA vaccines could immunise people against a range of infections simultaneously with just one jab.

19. The end of free will?

In 1994, the American murderer Stephen Mobley was sentenced to death, but his lawyers argued for leniency on the grounds that he came from a criminal family and had evidently inherited a genetic predisposition to violence. Last year scientists showed that physically abused boys are more likely to grow up into antisocial and violent men if they have also inherited a certain version of a gene on the X chromosome. DNA has more than re-opened the age-old debate of nature versus nurture; it has virtually eliminated the notion that we are all born as blank slates.

20. An ethical minefield

Discovering the nature of inheritance has presented society with a totally novel set of ethical dilemmas. Should young people be told they have inherited the gene for Huntington’s disease, which will strike them in middle age with a lethal and debilitating mental disorder that has no cure? Do insurance companies have the right to access such information? Should parents be able to choose the sex of their babies based on a DNA test? Why shouldn’t families be able to alter the genes of eggs or sperm to rid their children of genetic disorders? If this is acceptable, why can’t parents genetically engineer their children to improve “cosmetic” traits such as intelligence, height or sexual attractiveness?

21. The human genome

Writing down the entire sequence of genetic letters that makes up the human genome would fill a space equivalent to 800 copies of the Bible. The complete sequence, to be published later this year, is the ultimate book of life. In effect it is the recipe for making a human being: yet, encoded in the form of DNA, it can be packed into the nucleus of a microscopic cell.

22. Movie mania

Hollywood has had a lot of fun (and made a lot of money) with the possibilities inherent in DNA. Jurassic Park addressed the possibility of bringing dinosaurs back to life by retrieving their preserved DNA from fossilised mosquitoes; a highly unlikely scenario. Gattaca envisaged a future of deliberately designed, genetically modified “valids” and the less perfect “in-valids”, whose DNA had been left to the vagaries of fortune. Somehow this seems a more likely outcome.

23. Validating Darwin

All animals and plants share the same DNA code. Knowing the structure of DNA and how it encodes genetic information demonstrated that life on Earth has a common origin. In effect, it proved that Charles Darwin was right when he suggested that species are descended from a common ancestor. Even if extraterrestrial life exists, it is highly unlikely to use exactly the same sort of DNA, which is, in all probability, unique to Earth.

In the early 1950s, thanks to four-brillant people, Rosalind Franklin and Maurice Wilkins, that studied DNA using x-rays, Franklin produced an x-ray photograph that allowed two other researchers, James Watson and Francis Crick to work out the 3D structure of DNA.

If it were not for the discovery of DNA, so many people like Adriana would never have found their biological families.

Based on all of the positives, I place the discovery of DNA at the very top of the list of important discoveries ever made!!

I recently found some relatives from the past I would have not have met if it were not for DNA.

Aside from allowing people to discover their past and so much more, I am elated when I see innocent people released from prison because of the use of DNA.

I don’t think that DNA and it’s discoverers have received all the accolades they deserves.

Hats off to DNA and the people that discovered it.

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About The Goomba Gazette

Addressing topics other bloggers shy away from. Objective: impartial commentary on news stories, current events, nationally and internationally news told as they should be; SHOOTING STRAIGHT FROM THE HIP AND TELLING IT LIKE IT IS. Direct and to the point unbiased opinions. No topics are off limits. No party affiliations, no favorites, just a patriotic American trying to make a difference. God Bless America and Semper Fi!
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