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Amazing Science

Oldest Extracted Human DNA

In Jan 2000 scientists extracted DNA from the bone of a 60,000 -year-old ancestor of modern humans.  the skeleton, nicknamed 'Mungo Man' was unearthed at Lake Mungo, Australia, inn 1974. This controversially challenges the theory that we are all descended from a common African ancestor.


Most Powerful X-Ray Generator

The Z Machine at the Sandia National Laboratories, New Mexico, USA, can, very briefly, give out x-rays with a power output roughly equivalent to 80 times that of all the world's electrical generators.


Most Cloned Pigs Born In One Litter

The most cloned piglets born in one litter is five. PPL Therapeutics Plc created the first piglets born as a result of nuclear transfer, named Millie, Christa, Alexis, Carrel and Dotcom who were born on 5 Mar 2000 in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.

PPL Therapeutics' successful cloning of pigs opened the door to making modified pigs whose organs and cells can be successfully transplanted into humans. Xenotransplantation, or the transplanting of cells, tissues, and whole organs from one species to another, is believed by scientists to be the only short-term solution to solving the worldwide organ shortage crisis.


Most Bitter Substance

Denatonium benzoate is the world's most bitter-tasting substance. It can be detected in dilution levels as low as one part in 500 million - a dilution of one part in 100 million will leave a lingering tastes. Higher levels are too bitter to be tolerated. It is used in products like antifreeze to deter people from drinking them.


Largest Cloned Animal

On January 6, 2000, Xiangzhong Yang, at the University of Connecticut, USA, and scientists from the Kagoshima Prefectural Cattle Breeding Development Institute, Japan, announced the successful cloning of six calves from skin cells from a bull's ear.


Oldest Living Bacteria

Uncontaminated bacteria trapped in suspended animation inside salt crystals for 250 million years [ older than the dinosaurs] have been revived and cultured be US scientist. Designated 'Bacillus 2-9-3,' this species is 10 times older than the previous oldest revived bacteria.

Least Dense Solid

The solid substance with the lowest density is aerogel, in which tiny spheres of bonded silicon and oxygen atoms are joined into long strands separated by pockets of air. The latest and lightest versions of this substance weigh just 3mg/cm3, and are produced by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, USA.


Hottest Flames

The hottest flames is produced by carbon subnitude [C4N2] which, at one atmosphere pressure, can generate a flame calculated to reach 9,010 degrees Fahrenheit. The highest man made temperature is 100,000 hotter than this.

Highest Man-Made Temperature

The highest man-made temperature was 520 million K. It was achieved by the JT-60 (JAERI Tokamak-60) reactor at the Naka Fusion Research Establishment, Nakamachi, Ibaraki prefecture, Japan, on 19 July 1996.

Lowest Man-Made Temperature

A team at the University of Colorado, led by Eric Cornell and Carl Wieman, created the coldest manmade temperature in July 1995. In a university laboratory they cooled atoms of rubidium to a temperature of less than 170 billionths of a degree above absolute zero - the coldest temperature possible.


Sweetest Substance

Thaumatin [or 'Talin'], obtained from arils [appendages found in seeds] of the katemfe plant [Thaumatococcus danielli] from Africa is 615,000 times sweeter than sugar. It leaves a licorice like aftertaste.


Most Common Element

Hydrogen is the most common element in both the Universe and the Solar System. Over 90% of the Universe is comprised of hydrogen. Iron is the most common element on Earth, accounting for 36% of its mass.

Most Sophisticated Toilet

The Washlet Zoe is the most sophisticated toilet in the world. Produced by Toto, the Washlet first went on sale in Japan in May, 1997. This remote-controlled restroom revolution has a record-breaking seven flash functions. They include an automatic, self-lifting lid and a built-in flush simulator that creates a sound effect to cover embarrassing noises. The seat is heated and the unit automatically freshens the air after use. There is no need for paper - the toilet washes and dries the user every time!



Hardest Element

Diamond, an allotrope of carbon (C), has a value of 10 on Mohs' scale of hardness. Diamonds have principally been mined in India, Brazil, South Africa, and Russia.

Largest Scientific Instrument
The world's largest scientific instrument (and arguably the world's largest machine) is the Large Electron Positron Collider. It is a circular tube 3.8 m (12 ft 6 in) in diameter and 27 km (17 miles) in circumference. It is situated in a giant donut-shaped tunnel 100 m (330 ft) below the area around the Swiss-French border in Geneva. The machine began operating in 1989 and was officially closed down at 8 am on November 2, 2000. It was used to examine the smallest particles of matter by accelerating electrons and positrons that collided with each other. The collisions produced tiny sub-atomic particles and enabled physicists to study the fundamental nature of the universe.

Smelliest Molecule

Ethyl mercaptan (C2H5SH) and butyl seleno-mercaptan (C4H9SeH) could claim to be the worst of the 17,000 smells classified to date. The former is man-made, and the latter is found in skunk spray. Both contain sulfur, the source of their pungent odor. Ethyl mercaptan is toxic, and in sufficient doses will cause headaches, nausea, lack of coordination, and liver and kidney damage.


Largest Blood Bank

The American Red Cross is the world's largest provider of blood, plasma, and tissue products. It supplies almost half the nation's blood by working with more than 4.5 million donors and 3,000 hospitals in a national network of 38 blood regions. The charity established its first blood center in New York's Presbyterian Hospital in 1941.


Most Powerful Nerve Gas

VX – more correctly known by its scientific name Ethyl S-2-diisopropylaminoethylmethyl phosphonothiolate – was developed at the Chemical Defence Experimental Establishment, Porton Down, Wiltshire, UK, in 1952, and is 300 times more powerful than the phosgene (COCl2) used in World War I. A lethal dosage is 10 mg-minute/m³ airborne, or 0.3 mg orally.

VX gas is a deadly substance of terrifying potency. Typically it's green and can smell of rotting fish. Once exposed to air, it vaporizes immediately and is absorbed by living things. The first symptoms on exposure to the substance are the loss of muscle control, shortly followed by convulsions and death.

Rarest Element On Earth

The element astatine is the rarest element in the Earth's crust, with around 25 g (0.9 oz) in total occurring naturally. Astatine is a member of the halogen group of elements, which also includes, chlorine, fluorine, and iodine. The element was discovered in 1931.

Finest Balance

The Sartorius Microbalance Model 4108, manufactured in Göttingen, Germany, can weigh objects of up to 0.5 g. (0.018 oz.) to an accuracy of 0.01micrograms (1 x 10-8 g./3.5 x 10-10 oz.).

Most Accurate Value Of Pi

The most decimal places to which pi (p) has been calculated is 206,158,430,000. Professor Yasumasa Kanada of the University of Tokyo and Dr Daisuke Takahashi made the calculation by running two different programs in 1999.


Smelliest Substance
The smelliest substances on Earth are the manmade "Who-Me?" and "US Government Standard Bathroom Malodor", which have five and eight chemical ingredients respectively.

“Bathroom Malodor” was developed by chemists in America as a way of testing the effectiveness of deodorants and air fresheners. It emits an incredibly unpleasant odor that resembles human feces. “It’s very pungent,” explains Paul Dalton of the Model Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia. “It fills your head and gets to you in ways that are unimaginable.”

”Who Me?” on the other hand has a different but equally overwhelming stench. The sulphur-based substance smells of rotting food and carcasses. It was originally developed during the Second World War when it was hoped French resistance fighters would be able to humiliate and embarrass German soldiers by making them smell horrific. The idea came to nothing since it was impossible to properly target the smell – instead, it ended up polluting large areas.

The US Government has now resumed a program to look at possible military applications of these substances. It’s hoped they could be modified and used as giant stink bombs to disperse rioting crowds or to keep warring factions apart


Most Prolific Mathematician

The prolific output of Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler (1707-83) was such that his papers were still being published for the first time more than 50 years after his death. His collected works will eventually occupy over 75 large quarto volumes.



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