The strongest

How did the humanity fight dangerous viruses in different eras?

Reading time 6 minutes

When the coronovirus epidemic walks around the world, it’s time to recall what diseases people have already defeated. In the article we will tell you who, how and when saved the humanity from epidemics.

Plague

According to historians, up to 300 million people died from the plague. The disease was rolling in wave during the Middle Ages and the New Age. The most ferocious pandemics are the Justinian plague in the 6th-8th centuries and the “Black Death” in the 14th century. More often people got sick with bubonic plague – lymph nodes became inflamed and formed characteristic “buboes”. Pulmonary plague happened less frequently. A person began to cough and spit blood. In the first form, the probability of recovery was 25%, in the second – 0%. All the doctors could do was to protect themselves when approaching a sick patient.

Костюм, который вошёл в культуру Средневековой Европы: кожаные доспехи и маска. В «клюв» доктора закладывали травы, которые обладали антисептическими свойствами. При дыхании они нагревались и испаряли вещества, снижавшие риск заражения
This costume was popular in medieval European culture: leather armor and a mask. Doctors laid herbs in the beak that had antiseptic properties. When breathing, they heated up and vaporized substances that reduced the risk of infection.

We learned how to deal with “black death” in the 20th century. Epidemiologist Vladimir Khavkin created an inactivated vaccine against bubonic plague from temperature-killed plague sticks. The live vaccine was created and tested by the bacteriologist Magdalene Pokrovskaya. In 1947, Soviet scientists from the Red Army Research Institute of Epidemiology and Hygiene developed the antibiotic called streptomycin and began to use it in Manchuria, where an epidemic broke out at that time. All patients who received the new medicine recovered. Today, with proper treatment, 90-95% of patients survive.

Smallpox

Chinese annals mentioned smallpox in 12th century BC. In the 6th century AD, the disease entered Europe. Epidemics happened regularly and claimed up to 40% of patients. The ones who recovered often remained blind and had disfigured scars.

A person who had contracted smallpox usually did not get infected again. A Millennium BC the Chinese instilled a mild form of the disease, so, that a person would not become infected with a serious one. However, the course of the disease was still individual and the person who was vaccinated could die. There were few people who wanted to try their luck, and the disease spread further.

Екатерина II первой в России сделала прививку от оспы. Страна последовала её примеру и в XX веке для поступления в учебное заведение уже требовалась справка о прививке
Catherine II was the first who got smallpox vaccine in Russia. The country followed her example, and in the 20th century a certificate of vaccination was required for admission to an educational institution.

The safest way to protect oneself from smallpox was invented by the British physician Edward Jenner in the 18th century. He suggested that  vaccination from cow smallpox, which was easily tolerated by humans, could protect them from dangerous natural one. The doctor conducted an experiment on May, 14 in 1796. The vaccinated boy remained healthy. Jenner later discovered that a vaccine made using the blood of a previously vaccinated person is just as effective as one made from biomaterial that has been infected directly from a cow. Now, vaccination did not require waiting for rare outbreaks of vaccinia. The last case of smallpox was registered in 1977, and in 1980 the World Health Association announced the victory over the disease.

Poliomyelitis

The developed countries faced epidemics of poliomyelitis in the 20th century. The patients were mostly children under 5 years old. The virus affected the nervous system and the gray matter of the spinal cord. The person was broken by paralysis.

Poliomyelitis is not treatable, but it can be prevented. Salk’s inactivated vaccine was launched in the United States in 1955. At the same time, Virologist Albert Seibin invented a cheaper and more effective live vaccine. Soviet scientists Mikhail Chumakov, Marina Voroshilova and Anatoly Smorodintsev tested it on their children, grandchildren and relatives. The vaccine helped to stop the polio epidemic, which has been affecting the Baltic states since 1949.

Основатель и первый директор Института полиомиелита и вирусных энцефалитов АМН СССР действительный член АМН, профессор Михаил Чумаков за работой
Professor Mikhail Chumakov

In 1988, the World Health Assembly adopted a resolution on the eradication of poliomyelitis in the world. After this initiative, the number of cases decreased by 99%. Today, the virus persists in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria.

 

British scientists shocked!

It turned out that the ancient Celtic warriors fought with willow bark shields

Reading time 4 minutes

In Leicestershire, England, researchers discovered a 2300-year-old shield that was made from tree bark. This fossil is the only specimen of such a shield of the territory of Europe.

The shield dates back to 395–250 BC. Archaeologists say that the discovery drastically changed their ideas about weapons of the Iron Age and caused a heated discussion between experts.

Щит сохранился благодаря оставлению в заболоченной яме
The shield is preserved because it was left in a marshy pit. (Photo: University of Leicester)

“This is certainly an amazing object, one of the most iconic and world-important finds I have seen in all my work,” admitted Julia Farley, curator of British and European Iron Age collections in the British Museum.

In 2015, researchers from the University of Leicester Archaeological Service near the Soar River found a shield. According to Matt Beamish, the chief archaeologist of the study, objects from natural materials of this time are extremely rarely preserved, but the shield has survived in marshy soil. Maybe he was specially placed in a water-filled pit.

Matt Beamish added that shields from the bark of that period had never been found in the northern hemisphere before. It was assumed that the wood material was too flimsy for use in wars. However, the reconstruction of weapons from alder and willow proved that the 3 mm thick shield was light but reliable enough in the battles of that time. According to Beamish, contrary to researchers’ assumptions, such weapons were widespread in that period.

Процесс реконструкции найденного щита из ольхи и ивы
Alder and willow shield reconstruction process (Photo: University of Leicester)

The weapon is made of green bark, which is reinforced from the inside with slats of the same material. The main part is surrounded by a rim of hazel and wicker willow. Matt Beamish noted that “this is a lost technology,” which was not known before. Apparently, this technique was used in many areas for the manufacture of products from the bark.

Supple green tree, giving the shield strength and shape that remotely resembles the figure eight

“It was important,” says Farley. According to her, the Battersea shield had a similar shape. It was extracted from the Thames in the middle of the 19th century and dates from the same period.

Щит Баттерси
Battersea Shield (Photo: British Museum)

Farley argues that the visual world of the Iron Age is lost for us, since from the period 395-250 BC few artifacts left. She added that a new find for her is “a small window into that world.” For Farley, this awareness is “incredible and so exciting.”

The shield was donated to the British Museum. Farley hopes that the shield will be exhibited in the museum next year.

Garbage was at the bottom of the deepest point of the ocean

American explorer made a record dive into the Mariana Trench

Reading time 4 minutes

Victor Vescovo descended into the deepest point of the ocean. His bathyscaphe reached the bottom of the world famous Mariana Trench. The depth of immersion was 16 meters more than in the previous descent in 1960.

Впадина
Mariana Trench – Oceanic Deepwater Chute in the Western Pacific

The American explorer reached the Challenger Deep, the deepest known point in the ocean, its depth is 11,000 meters.

 

What did the researcher discover?

Victor Vescovo, a retired naval officer, was stunned to find something similar to plastic in the deepest point of the ocean. At this time, he was in a machine specially designed to withstand tremendous pressure. After spending four hours under water, he remembered only rubbish. It was a plastic bag and candy wrappers.

Plastic waste in the ocean, according to UN estimates, reached 100 million tons.

Последнее погружение достигло 10 927 м (35 849 футов) под водой - новый рекорд
The last dive at 10,927 m (35,849 ft) is a new record (Photo: TAMARA STUBBS)

For the last three weeks, Vescovo has dived four times into the Mariana Trench to collect various biological samples and forms of rocky soil. He is the third man who descended to the bottom of the Mariana Trench. The last who tried to do this was Canadian film director James Cameron in 2012, and before that, one of the US Navy lieutenants in the 1960s plunged into the hollow. Vescovo dive was the deepest in history.

The expedition was watched by Atlantic Productions, which collected material for a documentary for the Discovery Channel. Work under pressure, poor visibility and low water temperature made it difficult to shoot. Anthony Geffen, creative director of Atlantic Productions, said it was the hardest shot in his experience.

Виктор Весково провел четыре часа, исследуя дно траншеи
Victor Vescovo spent four hours, exploring the bottom of the trench (Photo: ATLANTIC PRODUCTIONS FOR DISCOVERY)

“Our team had to pioneer new camera systems that could be mounted on the submersible, operate at up to 10,000m below sea level and work with robotic landers with camera systems that would allow us to film Victor’s submersible on the bottom of the ocean. ”

After the completion of the expedition at the end of this year, the team plans to transfer the apparatus to scientific institutions. After, the researchers will be able to use the device in further work.

T-Rex found new relatives

Recently discovered fossils have filled the missing link in dinosaur evolution

Reading time 5 minutes

Paleontologists recently announced in the scientific journal Nature Ecology & Evolution that the ferocious Tyrannosaurus Rex evolved from dinosaurs as tall as a small child.

Newly discovered dinosaur, called Suskityrannus hazelae, weighed approximately from 20 to 40 pounds. Its height reached only 90 centimeters. Tyrannosaurus Rex weighed about 9 tons and had a length of about 12 meters.

The lead author of the study, Sterling Nesbitt, a paleontologist from Virginia Tech in the US, said that the fossils of the cousin of Tyrannosaurus Rex represent one of the best examples of how a smaller family of dinosaurs evolved into monstrous superhuman.

Fossilized bones of S. hazelae, which existed about 92 million years ago on the territory of modern Western new Mexico (Photo: VIRGINIA TECH)
Fossilized bones of S. hazelae, which existed about 92 million years ago on the territory of modern Western new Mexico (Photo: VIRGINIA TECH)

«A small group of dinosaurs spawned the biggest predators we’ve ever seen», Nesbitt said.

On Monday, it was reported that Suskityrannus hazelae is an intermediate between smaller tyrannosaurs and giant, the last surviving members of the species.

«Suskityrannus is a key link between bone huge dinosaurs, such as Tyrannosaurus Rex and smaller types from which they evolved», said Steve Brusatte, a paleontologist from the University of Edinburgh. He added: «The New species shows that tyrannosaurs developed many of their characteristic features, such as a muscular skull, a wide mouth, and cushioning legs when they were still small».

The scientist shows how small a part of the skull of S. hazelae is compared to the casting of the full-size part of the jaw of a Tyrannosaurus Rex (Photo: VIRGINIA TECH)
The scientist shows how small a part of the skull of S. hazelae is compared to the casting of the full-size part of the jaw of a Tyrannosaurus Rex (Photo: VIRGINIA TECH)

It is believed that Suskityrannus hazelae existed 92 million years ago, about 20 million years before Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Nesbitt says he first discovered the incomplete skeleton of Suskityrannus hazelae in new Mexico in 1997 and another more complete specimen in 1998. But in the decades that followed, scientists weren’t sure what it was until other fossils of smaller Tyrannosaurus Rex brethren were discovered.

Nesbitt found fossils of S. hazelae in 1997 when he was a teenager (Photo: hazel wolf)

Another tiny relative of Rex, Moros the Fearless, was discovered in February and is believed to have lived 96 million years ago.

«Suskityrannus gives us an idea of the evolution of tyrannosaurs just before they took over the planet», Nesbitt said.

The report notes that Tyrannosaurus Rex roamed the earth for only 15 million years before the species was destroyed. Smaller tyrannosaurs are thought to have existed 150 million years before Tyrannosaurus Rex. Incomplete paleontological data make it difficult to determine how dinosaur species evolved during this period of time.

Although the discovery helps to understand how Tyrannosaurus Rex evolved, paleontologists say it is still unclear why small carnivorous dinosaurs evolved to become so large.

Do you want to drop everything? This is not laziness, this is procrastination!

Why do we put things off until later, and how can we overcome our reluctance to work?

Reading time 5 minutes

Why do students often postpone difficult cases? Study Mode conducted a survey of 1,300 students, and found out: 87% of respondents always delay in completing a task, leaving it for later. Psychologists call this phenomenon procrastination. Sometimes this phenomenon is called a manifestation of weakness and laziness, but in fact, procrastination has deeper roots.

Why do we procrastinate?

Procrastinator brain

Brain is to blame for the fact that man procrastinates. This conclusion was made by researchers from the Ruhr University. They used 264 volunteers, examined them with an MRI. Then the participants filled out a questionnaire in which they appreciated how they can control their emotions. Research has shown that some people have a much larger amygdala than others. This gland is responsible for controlling emotions. It means that it is difficult for a person to cope with his feelings.

In addition, this part of the brain of procrastinators has a weak connection with the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, which chooses what we should do. Normally, the interaction of the tonsil and the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex helps us to complete our tasks and enjoy the process at the same time. Each action of procrastinators is the result of a struggle between these two parts of the brain.

Vicious circle procrastinator

One of the most unpleasant features of procrastination is a constant feeling of guilt and dissatisfaction with yourself. Deferred cases are done in a hurry – these actions affect the result and our well-being. There is a reluctance to take on new things. It turns out a vicious circle, and getting out of it is not so easy. 

 

How to overcome procrastination?

At first glance, it is impossible to overcome procrastination, because for this it is necessary to correct those parts of the brain that are responsible for it. You can’t change the brain, but you can cheat it.

  • Understand your task. We put things on a back burner, because the task seems to us simply incomprehensible. Students, for example, are afraid of a blank sheet. In fact, the task only seems so impracticable. It is enough to single out the purpose of the task, divide it into components and solve it in parts.
  • Work for periods. A common problem of procrastinators is the inability to think for a long time. As soon as we begin to perform tasks, we immediately get tired. It is necessary to set a timer and work, for example, 25 minutes. The main thing is not to make indulgences and not to finish the work earlier.
  • Minimize distractions. Put your phone in flight mode so that you will not be disturbed by calls and messages. Work in a place where no one will disturb you, and concentrate fully on the task.
  • Kindle your interest. Obviously, to perform tasks that are beyond your interests is difficult. But the brain can be deceived: it is enough to spend a few minutes writing a script in which this experience will definitely come in handy in the future. In addition, you can encourage yourself for work. When you solve a problem, watch a movie or go for a walk with friends.

 

The most expensive mistakes of space engineers

How one bug in the program and confusion of meters and feet can cost millions of dollars

Reading time 6 minutes

Developers of space projects sometimes make expensive mistakes. Let’s recall the five largest engineering errors of the space era.

Rocket «Mariner 1»
Ракета «Маринер-1»
Rocket «Mariner 1». Ph: NASA

Mariner 1 is the first apparatus of the NASA’s «Mariner» project (automatic interplanetary probes designed to investigate Mars, Venus and Mercury), the launch of which was scheduled on July 22, 1962. The apparatus was supposed to fly to Venus, however, after 293 seconds it deviated from the course, and was destroyed over the Atlantic ocean. According to the official version, the programmer made a mistake while translating the handwritten formula into a computer code: he mistook the index symbol for a regular dash. As a result, the on-Board computer software perceived normal speed jumps as critical, which led to a failure. The accident could not have happened, but the device’s antenna lost contact with the guidance system on the Ground, and the program automatically moved to plan «B». The engineering error cost $18.5 million, which the New York Times called «the most expensive dash in history».

 

Space station «Skylab»
Станция «Скайлэб»
Skylab space station. Ph: NASA

Skylab is the United States orbital station launched in 1873 (the first and only one). It was designed for Earth observation, astrophysical, technological, and biomedical researchs. Before the destruction, it held three space expedition, however, due to increased solar activity, it went off the orbit in 1979. The lowering of the Skylab accelerated, and since the station did not have its own engine, it was not possible to raise it to another orbit. According to the forecasts of the mission control Center, the station was to enter the Earth’s atmosphere on July 11, 1979 and sink for 1300 kilometers in South Cape Town. But the inaccuracy in the calculations by 4% led to the fall of some wreckage of the station in Western Australia. The damage from premature destruction was estimated at $10 million.

Hubble Space Telescope
Hubble Space Telescope. Ph: NASA

Hubble was launched in 1990, but immediately there was a problem in its work: the telescope transmitted a blurred image. After checking, it turned out that edges of the telescope’s main  mirror were too flat, making the telescope «myopic». NASA scientists have developed a program for image processing and, at first glance, the problem was solved. But few months later, other problems were discovered (gyro failures, problems with solar panels and computer malfunctions), and NASA organized three space expeditions to eliminate those defects. One of them brought «glasses» for the telescope — optical correction system COSTAR. Manufacturing and delivering of «glasses» have cost NASA 49.9 million dollars, while since the beginning of telescope’s construction there were spent 6 billion dollars.

Mars Climate Orbiter
Аппарат «Mars Climate Orbiter»
Mars Climate Orbiter. Ph: NASA

Mars Climate Orbiter is an apparatus studying the Martian climate, which was launched by NASA on December 11, 1998. The main objective of the apparatus is to picture the surface of Mars and to study the dynamics of its atmosphere. Nine months later the unit arrives to the planet, turns on braking and begins to move on highly elliptical orbit. According to the calculations of engineers, the device was supposed to change the orbit to circular and to begin research two months later. However, 5 minutes after the start of braking the apparatus passed Mars and never sent any signals. After analyzing the errors, it turned out that the NASA team calculated the parameters of the decisive stage of the flight in the metric system, and the engineers of Lockheed Martin — in the British system (pound-force). As a result, the device crossed the orbit for 53 kilometers lower than required and disintegrated in the atmosphere of Mars; the loss amounted to $193.1 million.

Satellite «NOAA-19»
Спутник «NOAA-19»
Satellite«NOAA-19». Ph: NASA

The accident is not related to the software, but to ordinary sloppiness. In 2003, September 6, during the construction of the satellite, engineers have tried to move it to a horizontal position, but the device collapsed to the floor. The investigation determined that shortly before failure the technician has pulled from the truck 24 screws and has not documented it, but other staff did not check the presence of screws either. As a result, $135 million were spent to repair the satellite.

 

 

There were more of us than we thought!

A new species of human was discovered in the Philippine cave

Reading time 5 minutes

During excavations in the Philippines, scientists discovered bones and teeth of a presumably new species of man. Based on fragments of bones and teeth found on the island of Luzon, the researchers established that our distant relatives were just over a meter tall and had several APE-like features.

Archaeologist Armand Salvador Mijares made the first discovery in 2007. He was excavating a cave in Callao and found a finger bone. «There’s something wrong with that bone»,- he told NPR, and continued digging.

Callao caves on the island of Luzon, where scientists discovered the remains of ancient people (Photo: archaeologists of the Callao cave)

In the study published in the journal Nature, scientists describe a finding of seven teeth and six bones that belonged to at least three human individuals. They were found in the cave in 2007, 2011 and 2015. Tests on two samples determined the approximate age of the fossils which was 50 000-67 000 years. This finding is another reminder that we, Homo sapiens, are the only surviving species of our branch on the evolutionary tree.

A range of upper teeth of Homo luzonensis (Photo: archaeologists of the Callao cave)

Expert Matthew Tohiri of the University of Lakehead in thunder Bay (Ontario), says that the discovery makes the origin of man in Asia «more confusing, more complex and much more interesting».

Analysis of bones from Luzon showed that they belonged to a previously unknown link Homo of our branch of the family tree. According to the researchers, the type and shape of the bones are different from what was found earlier in the family Homo. The new species was given the name Homo luzonensis.

Toe bone belonging to Homo luzonensis (Photo: archaeologists of the Callao cave)

One of the authors of the study, Florent Detroit from the National Museum of natural history in Paris, reported that the found species of man used stone tools. Since the teeth found were small, the species most likely had a small height.

Luzonensis Homo were living in Eastern Asia about the same time as other members of the branch of Homo, including Neanderthals, their obscure Siberian cousins the denisovans and hobbits miniature from the island of Flores in Indonesia.

There is no indication that Homo luzonensis has crossed paths with any other member of the Homo group, Detroit pointed out in an email to the Associated Press. He added that some human relative had been on Luzon more than 700,000 years ago, as evidenced by the presence of stone tools and the found skeleton of a butchered rhinoceros Dating back to the same time. It could be a new species or its ancestor.

It is not clear how Homo luzonensis is related to other Homo species. The species could have originated from an earlier human ancestor, Homo erectus, who somehow crossed the sea and ended up in Luzon.

Michael Petraglia of the German max Planck Institute believes that the discovery of Luzon «shows that we still know very little about human evolution, especially in Asia». More such discoveries are likely to emerge during further work in a region that has not yet been sufficiently explored.

Why did ancient whales need hooves?

The whale that was found off the coast of South America creates riddles

Reading time 5 minutes

Scientists have found that a giant fossil at the age of 42.6 million years led a semi-aquatic lifestyle (it was found in marine sediments along the coast of Peru). According to the shape of the animal’s limbs, scientists can assume that it carried the weight of its four-meter body and walked on the ground. Other anatomical features, including a powerful tail and webbed feet, make it clear that the animal was able to swim well.

Fossil whale lived about 43 million years ago

“The evolution of whales is the best documented example of macroevolution from small hoofed mammals to the giants of the ocean that we know and love today,” says Dr. Travis Park from the New York Natural History Museum. “However, despite the fact that the fossils are well known at different stages, there are still questions about the routes of ancient whales – how did their population spread around the world?”

“Other findings from this time are more fragmented and less completed,” says Olivier Lambert of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, the first author of the study in Current Biology. He adds: “We think that whales fed in the aquatic environment, where it is easier to move.”

Recent evidence suggests that ancient whales could swim for several days and weeks and retain the ability to move on land.

“Although whale could swim, it still had small hooves on its upper and lower limbs. It was much better for seals to move over land, ”says Park. The sharp teeth and the long muzzle of the animal indicate that ancient whales may have fished or crustaceans.

Scientists brought in special digital devices to document discoveries (Photo: Smithsonian Institution)
Scientists brought in special digital devices to document discoveries (Photo: Smithsonian Institution)

Earlier, more ancient remains of whales, dating back 53 million years, were found in India and Pakistan. Scientists argued when and how whales appeared near the Americas. Now we can roughly set the time when the first whales crossed the South Atlantic. This movement was facilitated by the western currents and the fact that the distance between the continents was half that of today.

The last few caudal vertebrae of the skeleton are lost, so it is unclear whether the creature on the tail had a large fin. This fin allows some modern whales to reach speeds of over 48 km per hour.

The most complete skeletons help scientists figure out how animals actually looked (Photo: Smithsonian Institution)
The most complete skeletons help scientists figure out how animals actually looked (Photo: Smithsonian Institution)

According to Lambert, it is likely that the whales returned to dry land in order to produce offspring. The first fully aquatic whales date from about 41-35 million years BC and fill a niche that remained free about 66 million years ago, when the last sea reptiles died out along with land dinosaurs.

How to recognize «date rape drug»

Nail рolish allows you to determine the content of a dangerous substance in the drink

Reading time 5 minutes

Going on a date with a stranger, the girls need to be very careful: a glass of wine or even a сup of coffee can be fatal if they are mixed with drugs or sleeping pills.

Date rape drug

Drugs that rapists add to the drink to the victim, are dangerous because they do not have taste, color and smell, so  is almost impossible to feel them. Such substances are referred to drug rape, these include:

  • Rohypnol is the most common drug in the United States that has become associated with date rape. When used with alcohol causes muscle relaxation and memory lapses. Thus, the victim can not resist, and after the rape does not remember the details of what happened.
  • Ketamine – used for anesthesia, but it provokes confusion, causing hallucinations and nightmares, so the victim suffers both physically and mentally.
  • Xanax is a tranquilizer several times weaker than ketamine, but at excessive doses it has the same strong effect.
  • Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) – acts in the same way as rohypnol, but is a more dangerous drug. It is rarely found in its pure form. Overdoses in most cases lead to death, since it is impossible to neutralize the action of GHB.

The company Drink safe Technologies has created a nail polish that reacts to the above substances: if something is mixed in the drink, the color of the nail polish will change from pink to black. To conduct such a rapid test, it is enough to dip your finger in a drink or drop a little liquid on the nail.

Reaction to drugs

The creators of nail polish – are the students of the faculty of materials science and engineering at the University of North Carolina (USA). They  decided ti launch thus project, because each of them was personally acquainted with the victims of rape on a date, they reported in an interview. According to them, such cases are not uncommon in the United States, especially often it happens in dormitories, so the students decided to take up the problem.

The creators of the nail polish: Tyler Confry-Maloney, Stephen Gray, Ankes Maidan and Tasso von Windheim

Mass production of the nail polish detector has not yet been launched, but the inventors regularly notify all those interested in how the work is progressing. Last year, the project was among the semi-finalists of the startup competition K50, this year it took first place in the State competition of private entrepreneurs.

The project is called «Undercover colors»,  users can donate funds for the research on the official website. Students themselves believe that their invention will help girls feel more protected, and in case of danger – to take action. They write about it on the project page in Facebook.

The logo of the project

Previously, Drink Safe Technologies was engaged in the development of stands for glasses, which also contained a reagent that reacts to the drug. However, this method of checking the drink is too obvious and can provoke a rapist. Therefore, drug detector stands were not in demand.

In the United States found amazing concrete fortifications

Concrete under the prison yard in Alcatraz was found when cement in America was not created

Reading time 4 minutes

Researchers have discovered tunnels and buildings from the time of the American Civil War, buried under the famous prison of Alcatraz Island in San Francisco, California.

под тюремным двором Алькатраса ученые обнаружили крепость, которая долго считалась разрушенной
Under the prison court of Alcatraz, scientists discovered a fortress that was long considered ruined.

Historians have long suspected that a federal prison was erected on the site of military fortifications built in the 1800s. The publication of the journal Near Surface Geophysics, describes the complex, found under the prison yard.

 

The study of the territory of the national park was conducted using ground penetrating radar and ground scanning. Under the recreation yard of the prison, researchers found traces of completely buried buildings, ammunition depots and tunnels. “These ruins are well preserved and are located close to the surface,” said Timothy de Smet, an archaeologist at Binghamton University. He added that these artifacts are right under their feet. Armed with new evidence, researchers plan to continue to study the remnants of old structures.

Учёные записывают подземные показания на Алькатрасе
Scientists are recording underground testimony on Alcatraz

Archaeologists began exploring most of the 19th century fortress buried under existing prison buildings in 2014. During work on the territory of Alcatraz, scientists were surprised by the concrete reinforcement of some earthen tunnels, despite the fact that concrete was not used in construction at that time.

“It is interesting that at that time they did not even produce cement in the United States,” said Tanya Vattenburg Comas from California State University Chico. “It was probably cement brought in barrels from Europe. Finding it on a mid-19th century battery was a big surprise.”

1868 году
Fort Alcatraz (1868)

During the American Civil War, Alcatraz Island served as a military base that backed supporters of the West Coast Confederation. The defenses were built in the mid-1850s and included barracks and gun batteries. While most of the country was drawn into a bloody battle, Alcatraz’s fortress remained calm.

In addition, Fort Alcatraz was used as the official military prison of the west coast. The first prisoners from the federal penitentiary system began arriving in the 1930s, and the last were evicted in 1963. On an island with a high level of security, famous prisoners were serving sentences: Al Capone, George “machine gunner” Kelly, Whitey Bulger.