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Scientists make ‘impossible material'


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#1    seeder

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 09:53 AM

Scientists accidentally make ‘impossible material’ Upsalite - the world’s most efficient water absorber

Human error solves problem of how to produce world’s most efficient water absorber more cheaply


It is so difficult to make that the researchers who first discovered it called it the “impossible material”.

Now a century later, a team of Swedish scientists have done the impossible by producing the substance known as Upsalite by accident – after leaving their equipment running over the weekend.

The breakthrough has far-reaching commercial applications, as Upsalite (named after the University of Uppsala, where the scientists are based) is the world’s most efficient water absorber, with potential to be used for the removal of moisture in drug creation and high-tech electronics to cleaning up huge oil spills


http://www.independe...er-8760118.html

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#2    Valdemar the Great

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 10:09 AM

That's how all the greatest scientific disoveries are made. Wasn't it louis Pasteur* who left a bottle of milk out while he went on holiday, and found this penicillin stuff inside it when he got back, and the microwave oven was invented when someone experimenting with some sort of Radar thing found that it had melted a bar of chocolate he had in his pocket. Something like that anyway.

* possibly Alexander Fleming

Life is a hideous business, and from the background behind what we know of it peer daemoniacal hints of truth which make it sometimes a thousandfold more hideous.

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#3    seeder

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 10:11 AM

View PostColonel Rhuairidh, on 16 August 2013 - 10:09 AM, said:

That's how all the greatest scientific disoveries are made. Wasn't it louis Pasteur* who left a bottle of milk out while he went on holiday, and found this penicillin stuff inside it when he got back, and the microwave oven was invented when someone experimenting with some sort of Radar thing found that it had melted a bar of chocolate he had in his pocket. Something like that anyway.

* possibly Alexander Fleming

absolutely. In fact if my father is to be believed, even I was created by accident  :lol:

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#4    Eldorado

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 11:03 AM

I can't help but wonder what else our illustrious scientists have created by accident; stuff that they'd rather not shout about.

(lol)

Edited by Eldorado, 16 August 2013 - 11:04 AM.


#5    brlesq1

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 11:10 AM

I'm sure there are lots of things.

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#6    seeder

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 11:11 AM

View PostEldorado, on 16 August 2013 - 11:03 AM, said:

I can't help but wonder what else our illustrious scientists have created by accident; stuff that they'd rather not shout about.

(lol)

Flubber?  :lol:

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#7    bassai26

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 11:12 AM

why is that always to be by accident... :td:


#8    NatureBoff

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 11:12 AM

View Postseeder, on 16 August 2013 - 09:53 AM, said:

Scientists accidentally make ‘impossible material’ Upsalite - the world’s most efficient water absorber

Human error solves problem of how to produce world’s most efficient water absorber more cheaply


It is so difficult to make that the researchers who first discovered it called it the “impossible material”.

Now a century later, a team of Swedish scientists have done the impossible by producing the substance known as Upsalite by accident – after leaving their equipment running over the weekend.

The breakthrough has far-reaching commercial applications, as Upsalite (named after the University of Uppsala, where the scientists are based) is the world’s most efficient water absorber, with potential to be used for the removal of moisture in drug creation and high-tech electronics to cleaning up huge oil spills


http://www.independe...er-8760118.html
I wonder whether the science of the "impossible" has anything to do with the absorption of milk by the elephant-god statues in India? Hindu milk miracle

Posted Image

The object, known by the locals as "Bicho Voador" (Flying Animal), or "Bicho Sugador" (Sucking Animal), has the shape of a rounded ship and attacks people in isolation.

#9    Taun

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 11:49 AM

Nylon (and plastic in general I believe) were discovered (twice) by accident... The first time the "inventor" just poured it down the drain, not realizing what he was discovered... the second time it was
discovered in a Dupont Lab and the rest is history...


If anyone has ever watched the brilliant TV show "Connections" they will see that many inventions were either total accidents, or serandipitous (sp?) discoveries that were not looked for...


@ Eldo:

I was definitly made "by accident" as my dad told me (many times while 'correcting my wayward ways') "I sure didn't plan someone who would do (fill in the blank) on purpose!"

Edited by Taun, 16 August 2013 - 11:54 AM.


#10    Aggie

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 12:17 PM

Quinine (to treat Malaria) was also synthezised by accident.

I think it's great that they will be able to use it to clean oil spills. But, as my profession involves very elderly patients, maybe I should suggest to use it in incontinence pads that could make so many people's lives easier.

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#11    seeder

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 01:21 PM

View PostNatureBoff, on 16 August 2013 - 11:12 AM, said:

I wonder whether the science of the "impossible" has anything to do with the absorption of milk by the elephant-god statues in India? Hindu milk miracle



cant you ever stay on one topic without trying to divert it to other un-connected things?

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored
It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me... It's all the rabbit poop you stumble over on your way down...
“It's easier to fool people - than to convince them that they have been fooled.”  Mark Twain

"The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it"

#12    NatureBoff

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 01:55 PM

View Postseeder, on 16 August 2013 - 01:21 PM, said:



cant you ever stay on one topic without trying to divert it to other un-connected things?
Lol. The soapstone used for easy carving could have the same kind of structure as Upsalite. It's a good possibility imv.

The object, known by the locals as "Bicho Voador" (Flying Animal), or "Bicho Sugador" (Sucking Animal), has the shape of a rounded ship and attacks people in isolation.

#13    FurthurBB

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 02:27 PM

View PostColonel Rhuairidh, on 16 August 2013 - 10:09 AM, said:

That's how all the greatest scientific disoveries are made. Wasn't it louis Pasteur* who left a bottle of milk out while he went on holiday, and found this penicillin stuff inside it when he got back, and the microwave oven was invented when someone experimenting with some sort of Radar thing found that it had melted a bar of chocolate he had in his pocket. Something like that anyway.

* possibly Alexander Fleming

Not to mention DNA fingerprinting.  It was an experiment gone very wrong that led to the discovery of minisatellites that allowed for DNA fingerprinting.  Oh, it was fleming and it wasn't a bottle of milk.  He was growing bacteria and left it unattended for several days and when he came back all the samples were contaminated with mold and the bacteria were dead.

Edited by FurthurBB, 17 August 2013 - 02:29 PM.


#14    FurthurBB

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 02:31 PM

View PostTaun, on 16 August 2013 - 11:49 AM, said:

Nylon (and plastic in general I believe) were discovered (twice) by accident... The first time the "inventor" just poured it down the drain, not realizing what he was discovered... the second time it was
discovered in a Dupont Lab and the rest is history...


If anyone has ever watched the brilliant TV show "Connections" they will see that many inventions were either total accidents, or serandipitous (sp?) discoveries that were not looked for...


@ Eldo:

I was definitly made "by accident" as my dad told me (many times while 'correcting my wayward ways') "I sure didn't plan someone who would do (fill in the blank) on purpose!"

Teflon was kind of invented by accident.  They were not looking for a nonstick coating, they were trying to create something else, but I cannot remember what.


#15    FurthurBB

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 02:39 PM

View PostAggie, on 16 August 2013 - 12:17 PM, said:

Quinine (to treat Malaria) was also synthezised by accident.

I think it's great that they will be able to use it to clean oil spills. But, as my profession involves very elderly patients, maybe I should suggest to use it in incontinence pads that could make so many people's lives easier.

Quinine is naturally occuring and was used by peruvians long before it was synthesized in a lab.  It was no accident to synthesize it either.  It was already used to treat malaria, but the US government during WWII was worried about not having enough or not being able to acquire enough to treat soldiers who came down with malaria so they pushed for chemists to find a way and they did.  Although, it is not ecconomical to synthesize it over acquiring it from the natural source.





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