etoduarte submitted this to OMG Facts

Insulin grown in space is up to 9x more efficient than the earth-grown kind.


This sounds like a very sci-fi headline but it’s true. In 1998, NASA managed to grow insulin crystals that were much smaller than the ones grown on earth.

How small? They compared it to being able to seeing grains of powdered sugar on a donut instead of just the donut from 180 miles away. In other words, space insulin is a lot lot tinier than the Earth one.

The smaller size makes it easier for the body to absorb it. How much easier? Well, they reduced the need for insulin intake from 1-3 times a day to just once every three days!

(Source)

etoduarte submitted this to OMG Facts

3D mapping helped discover an ancient Maya city!


Holtun, or Head of Stone, lay hidden under the thick Guatemalan rain forest. However, in 2010, using GPS and electronic distance-measurement technology, researchers were able to plot out the locations and elevations of a seven-story-tall pyramid, an observatory, a ritual ball court and even houses.

Archaeologists had always known that the city was there, but they hadn’t been able to really explore until they were able to use this technology. They’re excited to find Holtun, because it’s not a big metropolitan area, but rather a small city.

Why are they excited for that? Well, they hope to learn what every day life was for people who weren’t part of the larger metropolitan areas such as Tikal, something that hasn’t been explore much until now. Learn more about Holtun city by clicking the source.

(Source)

etoduarte submitted this to OMG Facts

Two cats helped the Dutch Embassy in Moscow find spy microphones!


In the 1960s, two Siamese cats were asleep in the study of Henri Helb, the Dutch ambassador to Russia. Suddenly, they bounced up, arched their backs and started scratching the wall.

This was because the cats had heard the sound of the mics being turned on; a sound imperceptible to humans. Thanks to the cats, they found 30 other microphones around the embassy.

Instead of complaining to the Russians, they used the microphones to their advantage. For example, they once grumbled about how long it had taken to repair an embassy sewer. It was fixed the next morning.

(Source)

etoduarte submitted this to OMG Facts

Slavery was almost abolished in 1784. The law didn’t pass by one vote!


Slavery was a hot topic in the early US all the way through the Civil War that was fought to end it. However, many people don’t know that slavery could have ended as early as 10 years after the United States was founded.

In 1784, Thomas Jefferson wrote a bill and submitted it to the Continental Congress that would have outlawed slavery for any new states admitted to the Union and would ban it outright by the year 1800.

The bill was taken up by the congress and it failed to pass by one vote. What’s sad about this is that there was an absent representative from New Jersey that would have tipped the scales.

Read more about this bill and Thomas Jefferson’s involvement in ending slavery at the source.

(Source)

etoduarte submitted this to OMG Facts

A 15-year old helped develop a screening test for pancreatic cancer that costs only a few dollars instead of thousands!


Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest known types of cancer. The 5-year survival rate for sufferers is around 6% and 40,000 people die each year from it. Most people aren’t even diagnosed from it until after it has spread.

The reason is that the pancreas is nested deeply in the body cavity and it’s difficult to image unless you use MRI machines. For most people, that comes way too late. Early, cheap detection would go a long way towards saving thousands of lives.

Enter Jack Andraka, a 15-year-old high school student who invented a way that may be able to detect this cancer in as little as 5 minutes. It’s a small dipstick probe that uses a sixth of a drop of blood.

As cancer develops, the body develops an overabundance of a protein called mesothelin. Until Jack Andraka’s breakthrough, there wasn’t a way to raise a red flag of too much mesothelin in the body. Let’s hope that this is properly developed and deployed soon.

(Source)