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A Community of Rambunctious Scholars Celebrating People
Who Have Made Lifesaving Discoveries And Encouraging
Students and Politicians to Read 1000 Science Stories!


“Then, suddenly, it hit me,” Nalin says. “Oral therapy had to work, it was the methodology that was the problem - fluid losses had to be replaced with oral solution volumes that matched or slightly exceeded the volume of losses. I remember a chill going up my spine when I realized this, together with the overwhelming sense of how important this would be to the countless patients who were continuing to be at risk of death in remote, resource-poor affected areas around the globe. And I also sensed that anything that would work in cholera would certainly work in the host of less severe, though often fatal, acute watery non-cholera diarrheas.” 
- David Nalin, Made the key discovery that led to Oral Rehydration Therapy

“It looks like a miracle.”
- Howard Florey, upon seeing that mice infected with virulent streptococci, survived when treated with penicillin.

As he immersed himself in the information “it became apparent that something very funny was going on with the data.” Sommer said to himself, “Gosh, what in the world is going on here?” Children who had night blindness seemed to disappear from the study. They wound up in the “don’t know” category far more than did kids who had normal eyes. What happened to those children with their big eyes? Why did they leave the study?
Usually 90 percent or more of the children showed up for the next examination, although occasionally children were in the fields or traveling with relatives.  But these missing kids were not kids with healthy eyes. Their parents knew that another free examination was scheduled. Wouldn’t they have made sure their child showed up?
“Was it because they were too sick to show?” Sommer wondered. “No, their mothers would want to get them help if they were sick. Were the parents of the blind too uncaring, too busy to show?” Not hardly – Indonesians were wonderfully loving parents. Where had the sick children gone?
"Holy cow!" Sommer exclaimed. He suddenly realized the children were not doing the same thing the controls were doing when they missed examinations. The missing children weren’t out working in the fields.
Sommer realized the children weren’t showing up because they were dead!
“I got really excited, and using my little hand calculator, I redid the data by hand, going from cell to cell….What was the risk of kids with night blindness dying? What was the risk of kids with Bitot’s spots dying? How about kids with spots and night blindness? Kids with normal eyes? I checked them through six intervals.”
- Al Sommer, discoverer of the lifesaving role of Vitamin A, quoted in an excerpt from Scientists Greater than Einstein

“In these experiments the tissue culture method was employed with uncertain results. But the conviction was gained that it represented a basic tool for the study of viruses of which the possible applications were almost unlimited.” (Enders discussing his research in the 1930s).
- John Enders, creator of the measles vaccine

“My fly cage was so toxic after a short period that even after very thorough cleaning of the cage, untreated flies, on touching the walls, fell to the floor. I could carry on my trials only after dismantling the cage, having it thoroughly cleaned and after that leaving it for about one month in the open air.”
- Paul Müller, just after discovering DDT

 “A remarkable regularity appeared in the behavior of the 22 blood specimens examined. If one excludes the fetal placental blood, which did not produce agglutination…, in most cases the sera could be divided into three groups: In several cases (group A) the serum reacted on the corpuscles of another group (B), but not on those of group A, whereas the A corpuscles are again influenced in the same manner by serum B. In the third group (C) the serum agglutinates the corpuscles of A and B, while the C corpuscles are not affected by sera of A and B….. In ordinary speech, it can be said that in these cases at least two different kinds of agglutinins (antibodies) are present: some in A, others in B, and both together in C.”

- Karl Landsteiner in his remarkable 1901 paper: “Uber Agglutinationsercheinungen Normalen Menschlichen Blutes” – “On Agglutination Phenomena of Normal Human Blood,”

“Finally, it must be mentioned that the reported observations allow us to explain the variable results in therapeutic transfusions of human blood.”
- Karl Landsteiner. The last sentence of his remarkable 1901 paper: “Uber Agglutinationsercheinungen Normalen Menschlichen Blutes” (On Agglutination Phenomena of Normal Human Blood)