Science obliges all researchers to carefully plan experiments, select equipment, personnel, and take into account many circumstances. All important scientific discoveries were not made lying on the couch.
Thanks to systematic work, including theoretical work, people found the elementary parts and decoded their genome. Life helps some experiments to come true in a random way, scientists can only analyze the results.
The link between nuclear bombs and obesity. In the fight against excess weight, people indulge in various tricks. Someone has pills, someone chooses dodgy diets. Several scientists from different countries, working in a team, decided to study how quickly a person acquires fat cells and then part with them. It is known that with a change in body weight, the number of fat cells does not change, they are simply filled with fat in different proportions and mass. And although it is known about the permanence of cells, scientists decided to find out whether they remain in the human body forever, or whether the body produces new ones instead of the dead. For the experiment, it was decided to use animals that were fed with radioactive food. Active DNA should have appeared in their bodies, by which it was possible to determine how quickly the cells die off. It is quite logical that scientists for this experiment did not plan to involve people for ethical reasons. Only now the wave of nuclear weapons tests in the 1950s-1960s, conducted by the USSR and the United States, has already led to the contamination of all food to one degree or another. So in the organisms of all people living on the planet at that time, radioactive markers were already present. Scientists had to simply take and examine 14 people who lived before the start of the tests and after their peak. It turned out that the number of fat cells increases until the end of adolescence. Then our body renews them annually about 9%. It turned out that the Cold War unwittingly provided scientists with valuable information in the fight against obesity.
Wealth through the land lottery. Sociologists often wonder how rich the children and grandchildren of those who unexpectedly received wealth at their disposal would be. It's just not easy to conduct such an experiment. Not only will you need the very wealth that needs to be spent for the sake of experience, but it would take more than a dozen years to draw conclusions. True, it is possible to get an answer to this question in the past. There is an example of how material benefits were received by people by accident. In 1832, to the delight of sociologists and economists, such a measure was taken by the state of Georgia. After the government of this state took the land from the indigenous population, it was decided to divide it by lot. The names of the white people were written on a piece of paper and put in a hat. Some got rich land, which became akin to winning the lottery. Modern economists have studied the fates of those involved in this scheme. It turned out that getting unexpected wealth did not change people in any way. They did not become more literate, and did not change their attitude towards education. And their children remained the same, doing the same and preserving their financial condition. Both those who did not win land and those who were lucky sent their children to the same schools. There were no biases in the results. You can certainly remember that the state of Georgia was different in the 19th century than it is now. In modern times, everything could be different. Nevertheless, this unexpected experiment showed that unexpected wealth does not in itself guarantee an improvement in the lives of future generations.
Ability reward. They say that for better teaching people need more praise. But what will happen if you divide a group of students and give one half of them some certificates or orders for their abilities and talents? But such an experiment cannot be carried out in reality, because parents will be opposed to such experiments being performed on their children. But scientists were able to unexpectedly find information on this matter, starting from the fact that all people just have bad days. Exams and knowledge tests are a very serious and insidious test. Knowledge of the subject is important, but often people simply cannot demonstrate all of their skills. Someone does not sleep all night because of excitement, sometimes people come to the exam ill, with a fever. If people are told that passing the 80 percent mark guarantees an excellent grade, then there will be many who have fallen short even though they clearly know the subject. And among those who overcame this bar, some probably just showed too high a result for themselves with the help of adrenaline or coffee. In 1960, a study was conducted that examined this phenomenon. Scientists studied those students who passed the exam for the sake of a certificate of appreciation. The results were compared for those on either side of the success line. The names of those who succeeded made it into newspapers and university booklets. But the scientists concluded that those students whose results were close to the line could be equally likely to be on one side or the other. The results of the study showed that praise does not in itself affect the lives of the test subjects.
Game shows. University researchers who seek to examine people's risk behavior with money are having a hard time. After all, you cannot risk the financial condition of people, and you will have to spend money on providing real prizes. In the real world, people are constantly playing, this is a very interesting and complex science, in which there are different probabilities. And what should an inquisitive scientist do? Television shows help answer this question. All participants usually have the same chances of winning and changing their destiny (but not their children). For science, one of the best in terms of providing material was the "Agree or not" game. It was even described in one scientific work, showing that this television show has features that make it even perceive it not as entertainment, but as a real economic experiment. The show "Agree or Not" was the result of a study that found that men are still more at risk than women. It is also interesting that a person's initial financial situation does not in any way affect his desire to take risks or stop at a guaranteed win. Through the show, scientists have figured out that people tend to take risks if they've had bad luck lately. The researchers explain this by the fact that people are trying to return to the position that they lost. And for this they are even ready to risk even more than before.
A study on twins in Minnesota. People often wonder what shapes our character - nature or nurture? In order to find out the exact answer, you need to create several clones and place them in different conditions. But science does not yet allow doing this. But you can study several identical twins, who were separated by the will of fate, and ended up in different families. The most famous example of such a randomly generated experiment is the study of twins, which took place in Minnesota. There, in the late 1970s, scientists began to investigate what similarities and differences were observed in twins who were separated in childhood. It turned out that these relatives were most often still similar in their characters, interests and temperament. The twins turned out to be exactly the same as those people who grew up together. And other studies have shown that male homosexuality is much more determined by genes than female. Among the twins, the representatives of the strong half had twice as many gays as the opposite sex. In Sweden, twins were studied for smoking. It turned out that there is a genetic predisposition to this addiction. Again, this influence is more pronounced in men.
Polynesian Islands. Sociologists have always been interested in what would happen to our society if it were divided, and each group of people would live in a place with its own specific resources. Would this affect the character of people? Throughout history, human civilizations have supplanted each other, not at all out of academic interest, but for their deep reasons. A natural experiment helped to understand this issue. The people of East Lapita settled on the Polynesian islands several thousand years ago. When researchers examined the impact of the environment on these people, a strange pattern emerged. Those who lived in arid areas with scarce resources tended to be more militant and violent. And on the richer islands, for example Hawaii, there was already a more complex government structure, and a kind of monarchy developed. This form of government allowed the society to hide its negative features.
The influence of foreign television on the dictatorship. Tyranny is forced to isolate itself, not letting in information from the outside. That is why control over information is an important part of totalitarian societies. It is no coincidence that many websites are blocked in China, and only state television broadcasts in North Korea. After all, information from the outside can tell the population how much they are deprived of, that their life can be completely different. In the German Democratic Republic, in fact, there was not much "smell" of democracy. But in this country, an experiment was naturally conducted that demonstrated the full influence of external media. Neighboring West Germany broadcast its television channels in such a way that they could easily be received in the GDR. That is why the inhabitants of the communist country knew how their neighbors lived. But the television towers did not spread their signal to the entire territory of the GDR. This geography has led to the fact that in some parts of the "democratic" country, residents were content with internal communications to obtain information. It is logical to assume that those Germans who saw Western life on their televisions were more prone to unrest. In fact, people living in a communist country who watched Western TV programs were happier. Most likely, they saw these shows as just a form of entertainment, less upset about their lifestyle. The conclusion is disappointing - the majority of the population is ready to live under a totalitarian form of society, as long as television shows entertainment programs.
Sexual transmission of viruses. It will be extremely easy to organize a full-fledged experiment on the transmission of the virus between people. Ethics simply will not allow you to intentionally infect a person. In this regard, it is not surprising that man has discovered the sexual transmission of viruses carried by insects in a random manner. American biologist Brian Foy, collecting mosquitoes in Senegal for his research, fell ill with dengue fever. The bloodsuckers bit their abuser several times, infecting him with the virus. This was a common occurrence. But the scientist's wife, Joy, worked as a nurse in Colorado. Here this type of carriers of tropical fever was not observed, and she herself never left her native state. That is why, after discovering that she had the same symptoms of the disease as that of her husband, the doctors realized that there was another way of transmitting the disease. This was followed by a study of a sick woman, as well as consultations with experts on a viral disease so exotic in America. Doctors soon concluded that the scientist had actually contracted another rare disease, the Zika virus. It is often confused with dengue. Several tests only confirmed the new diagnosis. But the scientist's wife could not contract this disease through the usual methods. Then experts began to look for another explanation for the unusual transmission of the virus. It almost became clear that it was transmitted through sexual contact shortly after the doctor returned from his trip. Foy himself said that Joy was not very happy with what she had to endure thanks to her husband.
Upsalit. There are several areas where things must be insulated from moisture. Electronic manufacturing and pharmaceuticals are classic examples. In this regard, the story looks amazing, how absolutely by chance a substance was found that most effectively absorbs moisture. Much has been said about its theoretical existence, even calling it "impossible material", questioning the very fact of its existence. At the University of Uppsala, they thought for a long time about how to get such a substance. It turned out that it was just necessary to accidentally forget some of the components and let the experiment last all weekend. On Monday, the coveted substance was found. Scientists found a gel that had already formed, which contained the very material that no one could find for so long. This substance is able to absorb water incredibly quickly. One gram of it has a surface area of 800 square meters, and all thanks to microscopic pores. And the manufacture of a new substance, upsalite, requires less energy than less efficient analogues. Further experiments were already of a planned nature, they made it possible to optimize the process of obtaining a substance and form its economic prospects.
Rubber ducks and ocean currents. Observing the currents of the oceans is a difficult and painstaking task. You can't just throw something into the water and watch what happens next. But fortunately for scientists, about 10 thousand containers are lost annually by sea. One of them, which fell into the waters of the Pacific Ocean in 1992, significantly expanded knowledge of ocean currents. And rubber toys helped in this, which were transported in a container in the amount of 29 thousand pieces. Red beavers, green frogs and blue turtles coexisted with the yellow ducks. Soon, these floating toys began to be found in unusual places. Floating friends have been found in Hawaii and Alaska. Someone managed to go north to cross the Arctic and get to Scotland. Others went in the opposite direction and reached the shores of Australia. Thanks to these ducks, scientists have learned how much it takes for the current to complete a full revolution. Previously, the person did not have information about this. Until now, several thousand ducks swim in the ocean. So, having found them on the beach, it is worth paying close attention to the participants in such an important experiment.