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February 16 Science History

Science History of February 16


Learn about the history of science by reading about the significant scientific events that took place on this day in history.

1970 - Peyton Rous died.

Rous was an American pathologist that was was awarded half the 1966 Nobel Prize in Medicine for his discovery of cancer causing viruses. He discovered that a malignant tumor growing on a chicken could be transferred to another chicken by exposing the bird to a cell-free filtrate.

1937 - Nylon is patented.

Wallace Carothers received the patent for nylon. He developed the new material in 1935 while working for DuPont. Nylon is one of the most widely used polymers.

1923 - King Tutankhamen's burial chamber was unsealed.

Death mask of King Tutankhamen
Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images
British archeologist Howard Carter unsealed King Tutankhamen's burial chamber in the Valley of Kings. The intact tomb of the pharaoh revealed a wide variety of treasures and artifacts. This discovery sparked a great public interest in the history of ancient Egypt.

1826 - Julius Thomsen was born.

Julius Thomsen (1826 – 1909)
Wikimedia Commons
Thomsen was a Dutch chemist who first suggested the periods in the periodic table should end with valence equal to zero, or the noble gases. He also made contributions to thermochemistry by determining the amount of heat released in 3,500 different chemical reactions. He is known for the Thomsen-Berthelot principle where chemical changes are accompanied by the production of heat and the process that produces the most heat will be the favored reaction.

1822 - Francis Galton was born.

Francis Galton (1822 - 1911)
Karl Pearson/The Life, Letters, and Labors of Francis Galton
Galton was an English polymath who is best known for his early work in eugenics or the selection of parents to increase beneficial traits into their offspring. He also proposed the use of fingerprints as a unique identifier of individuals and developed the classification system still in use today.

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