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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Weird science history - Scientists who died as a result of their research

When you see some of the marvels of the modern world, you must be wondering about where these came from. But have you thought about all the people who did all the work that caused these marvels, these inventions, etc. Consider the more hazardous stuff that people have had to endure when you consider the nature of the more dangerous stuff that we now use under a lot of safeguards - such as radioactive stuff, poisons, acids, the invention of flying or of submarines. Now, we have a lot of warnings and safety when these are in use, but earlier people did not even know about the dangers, or discovered the dangers when it was too late. It was the path-breaking efforts of these people who actually showed us this stuff. 
This article has a list of scientists who did a lot of work in areas that are now classified as dangerous but which are also very critical for us now (for example, radioactive substances are used not only in the power generation industry, but also in medicine for diagnosis, and for destructive purposes in the form of nuclear bombs). 

1. Carl Scheele (1742-1786) - Died due to heavy metal toxicity caused due to his experiments
2. Elizabeth Fleischman Ascheim (1859-1905) - Heavy exposure to X-rays as part of experimentation, died due to radioactive poisoning
3. Alexander Bogdanov (1873-1928) - Lots of experiments in terms of blood transfusions, but his last one was infected and died as a result
4. Marie Curie (1867-1934) - One of the most famous scientists of her time, and a heavy exposure to radiation caused leukemia
5. Haroutune (Harry) K. Daghlian Jr. (1921-1945) - Died as a result of the action he took during an experiment to prevent a danger, died due to massive amounts of radiation
6. Malcolm Casadaban (1949-2009) - Died due to a bacterium that he got exposed to in his lab
7. Richard Din (1987-2012) - Died due to exposure to a bacterium that he was working on
Out of these deaths, the last 2 happened in modern times when people knew about the dangers due to what they were working on, and yet any accident or slip can cause such accidents.

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