Things That Make You Go Hmmm... White Bits

Grant Williams |

Things That Make You Go Hmmm...  White BitsIt all started, believe it or not, in the mid-1950s.

A decade that began with Britain's recognition of Taiwan and troops from the North Korean Army crossing the 38th Parallel on their way to Seoul in June of 1950, and ended with the signing of the Antarctic Treaty, by which twelve countries including the USA and the USSR (remember them?) set aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve and banned all military activity on that continent, saw enormous changes take place in a post-WWII world that was struggling to come to terms with its new identity.

The Suez Crisis in 1956 heralded the beginning of the end for the once-mighty British Empire, and the Cuban Revolution brought to power Fidel Castro who, when he stepped down from office 52 years and 62 days later, had become the world's longest-serving ruler (eclipsing Kim Il-sung of Korea by almost seven years). But somewhere in between the Taipei "Hello" and the "Keep off the Snow," an amazing discovery took place that would have its moment in the sun half a century later.

The origins of this world-changing find are largely unknown, though it is commonly believed to have originated purely by accident when a nurse treating a diabetic patient accidentally spilled some dihydroxyacetone (DHA) on his chest whilst changing his drip.

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