Five Accidental Inventions

Topics: Coca-Cola, Alexander Fleming, The Coca-Cola Company Pages: 7 (2130 words) Published: May 11, 2013

Science and Technology
Five accidetal inventions that changed the world
Raiymberdiev Sanzharbek
University of International Business and Economics

Accidents happen every day. These accidents do not always lead to tragedy. These accidents can help become some people really rich and famous. If you're wondering what I mean by this, let me explain. It happens that scientists spend years and even decades to provide the world a new discovery. However, sometimes the other way - the invention appear suddenly, as a result of bad experiences or mere accident. It's hard to believe, but many devices and drugs have changed the world, was invented by accident. People who come up with these inventions never even could think that would create things that they found. They just accidentally stumbled on this well-known occasional invention and simply decided that they could rely on their mistakes. The following paragraphs will address some of the top five random inventions that changed the world. Actually there are many inventions created by accident in history, but I've highlighted these five because I think they have more influence than others. You will be surprised to know that most of these inventions that have become part of our daily lives, was created by what we usually call it a fluke! 1. Penicillin

It all started with a mold that developed on a staphylococcus culture plate. Since then, the discovery of penicillin changed the course of medicine and has enabled physicians to treat formerly severe and life-threatening illnesses such as bacterial endocarditis, meningitis, pneumococcal pneumonia, gonorrhea and syphilis. Sir Alexander Fleming, a Scottish researcher, is credited with the discovery of penicillin in 1928. At the time, Fleming was experimenting with the influenza virus in the Laboratory of the Inoculation Department at St. Mary’s Hospital in London. Often described as a careless lab technician, Fleming returned from a two-week vacation to find that a mold had developed on an accidentally contaminated staphylococcus culture plate. Upon examination of the mold, he noticed that the culture prevented the growth of staphylococci.


“The staphylococcus colonies became transparent and were obviously undergoing lysis … the broth in which the mold had been grown at room temperature for one to two weeks had acquired marked inhibitory, bactericidal and bacteriolytic properties to many of the more common pathogenic bacteria.” (Fleming A.)

Even in the early experimentation stages, penicillin had no effect against gram-negative organisms but was effective against gram-positive bacteria.

“One sometimes finds what one is not looking for. When I woke up just after dawn on Sept. 28, 1928, I certainly didn’t plan to revolutionize all medicine by discovering the world’s first antibiotic, or bacteria killer. But I guess that was exactly what I did.” (Fleming A.)

Penicillin made a difference during the first half of the 20th century. The first patient was successfully treated for streptococcal septicemia in the United States in 1942. However, supply was limited and demand was high in the early days of penicillin.

Penicillin helped reduce the number of deaths and amputations of troops during World War II. According to records, there were only 400 million units of penicillin available during the first five months of 1943; by the time World War II ended, U.S. companies were making 650 billion units a month.

To date, penicillin has become the most widely used antibiotic in the world. (by Katie Kalvaitis)

2. Pacemaker
In the late 1950s, an assistant professor of engineering at the University of Buffalo named Wilson Greatbatch was working with cardiologists on a way to...
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