Discoveries by Accident

Posted on October 3, 2006  Comments (2)

”˜Failed”™ experiment produces a bacterial Trojan horse by Katie Weber. Interestingly the usefulness of Penicillin, the most popular bacteria fighting agent, was discovered by accident (and then a smart scientist learning from the accident and applying that knowledge to creating an incredibly useful medication).

As he was puzzling out why what should have been a routine procedure wouldn’t work, he made a discovery that led to the creation of a new biological tool for destroying bacterial pathogens – one that doesn’t appear to trigger antibiotic resistance.

The discovery also led to the startup of a promising new biotechnology firm that has already brought Wisconsin a dozen new, high-paying, highly skilled jobs.

This is yet another example of the power of scientists and engineers to boost the economy and society at large.

Related: Drug Resistant Bacteria More CommonLeverage Universities to Transform State Economyblog posts on bacteria and anti-bioticsEntirely New Antibiotic DevelopedEconomic Benefits and Science Higher EducationScience Education and JobsUniversities Focus on Economic Benefits

2 Responses to “Discoveries by Accident”

  1. Jean-Claude Bradley
    October 4th, 2006 @ 4:34 am

    That is one huge advantage with these new forms of scholarship – we can publish not only what worked but also everthing that didn’t, leading to the successful experiment. (e.g. http://usefulchem.wikispaces.com/dopal )

  2. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » Nanotechnology Experiment Accidentally Discovers Forger Fix
    November 16th, 2006 @ 7:50 pm

    “One day the chip fell off the paper backing that it was being tested on and the laser just hit the paper instead. Whereas we would have expected to have got no signal, we actually got a signal that had all of the right characteristics for a security device. That was enormously surprising,”…

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