• Question: whats the most exiting thing you have discovered

    Asked by pacy499rya on 8 Feb 2024. This question was also asked by base499rya, parr1shh, area1say, neck499eve, sofia xpx, LejaM, drew1raw, edison, HannahC.
    • Photo: Martin McCoustra

      Martin McCoustra answered on 8 Feb 2024:

      We did some work on solids of small molecules that are dipolar… they behave a little like bar magnets is so respects. Normally, you’d expect that to reduce the energy of the solid, the poles of the molecule would be opposed… + to -… we observed that they were orientated in the + to + sense and created an electic field at the surface of the solid. One of the materials we looked at was carbon monoxide which is abundant on icy grains in the cold, dense regions of space where stars are forming. In those places, star formation is slowed by the presence of a magnetic field due to the presence of charged particles. However, because the dust grains with carbon monoxide ice have this electric field they help remove the charged particles, switch off the magnetic field and allow stars to form. It was a cool observation because an effect on the molecular scale impacts on processes on stellar scales.

    • Photo: Kirsty Ross

      Kirsty Ross answered on 8 Feb 2024:

      That a sniffable vaccine I designed and made actually generated immunity in my mice. If I ever go back to bench science, I’d use that technology to make sniffable viral vaccines.

    • Photo: Bruno Silvester Lopes

      Bruno Silvester Lopes answered on 8 Feb 2024:

      Novel species of bacteria and viruses. You can check out my profile 🙂

    • Photo: David Bremner

      David Bremner answered on 9 Feb 2024:

      I cant really claim to have discovered anything although i hope that the work i do has maybe helped others to some interesting findings

    • Photo: Alexander de Bruin

      Alexander de Bruin answered on 9 Feb 2024:

      My most exciting discovery was with a couple of the other IAS scientists who work at the same company! We developed a way to make a coating stick to the inside of a catalytic converter/filter that meant that almost no soot would get through to the end of the exhaust pipe and the coating would not get knocked off by water.

    • Photo: David McGonigle

      David McGonigle answered on 11 Feb 2024:


      I’m not really sure I’ve discovered anything. But there are a couple of bits of work that I’m, well, not unhappy with!

    • Photo: Richard Birch

      Richard Birch answered on 6 Mar 2024:

      Oh, that’s easy! I was looking for fossils in a quarry not known for having any fossils in it. This quarry was in early Cambrian rocks, about 500 million years old, so nobody really bothered to look for anything. I split a piece of slate and there was something I didn’t recognise. A strange creature I had to look up, and it turned out to be a VETULICOLIAN. No – its not one of Dr Who’s alien enemies, but its every bit as strange. Imagine something like a crisp packet with a huge mouth at one end, gill slits like a shark and a tail that looks like the segments of a centipede, but without the legs. Its one of those creatures that appeared when life on earth was going through its ‘experimental period’: a creature so odd that nobody really knows where it fits in the tree of life. It was the first for Europe, and I published a paper on it in 2020.

    • Photo: Michael Schubert

      Michael Schubert answered on 22 Mar 2024:

      I think one of the most exciting things I’ve ever discovered myself was a new way that our DNA packages itself up inside our cells. It taught us things we didn’t know before about how our genes are read or hidden, which affects how we grow and develop, whether we get cancer or not, and maybe even how we can “turn off” cancer in the future so it can’t grow and make people ill.

      (I have to say, though, one of the coolest things I’ve ever been a part of discovering was a new species of dinosaur. My colleagues and I were on a fossil dig, found some big bones we weren’t expecting to see, and they turned out to be a whole new kind of dinosaur! I have to say, I’m quite envious of Richard’s discovery, though. I love Precambrian and Cambrian fossils most of all!)