March 09, 2015

Lesser-known Scientific Discoveries, And The Women Behind Them


We all know that euphoric feelings come from our central nervous system as it produces endorphins, but do you ever stop to think about who made this discovery, and how? Vanessa Hill is here with the latest episode of BrainCraft to introduce you to Candace Pert, an American neuroscientist who discovered our brain's opiate receptor - where our body's natural painkillers and endorphins bond with cells and make us feel great - way back in 1972. As a graduate student, no less.

You'll often hear about little caps on the end of your DNA called telomeres that protect our chromosomes. As we age, and our cells divide over and over and over again, these telomeres grow shorter, and short telomeres have been associated with age-related illnesses and mortality. 

In 1984, Australia's own Elizabeth Blackburn was instrumental in discovering telomerase, which is an enzyme that actually repairs shortened telomeres. You can probably imagine how massive the impact of this discovery was for medicine, as Vanessa explains in the video above.

Watch the latest episode of BrainCraft to discover the facts behind some of the most significant scientific discoveries in the past few decades, and the amazing women behind them. 
Source: BrainCraft

By Bec Crew

With thanks to Science Alert

 Mad Geniuses: 10 Odd Tales About Famous Scientists

Benjamin Franklin:11 Surprising Facts