First News
Volume:7, Number:36
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FUN FACTS
THIS WEEK

Founding the Antibiotic Era

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The antibiotic era started with syphilis. At the turn of the 19th century, syphilis was endemic and almost incurable. Syphilis was usually treated with inorganic mercury salts. Paul Erlich thought there might be a better way. His idea of a “magic bullet” that selectively targets only disease-causing microbes, and not the human housing those microbes, was based on scientists noticing that aniline and other synthetic dyes, which first were produced in the late 1800s, could stain some specific microbes but not others. This idea of Erlich’s led him to begin a large-scale and systematic screening program in 1904 to find a drug against syphilis.

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Naming of An Aztec Baby

It was the solemn duty of new fathers to inform the priests of the day and the time of birth. The priests would in turn consult the Tonalamatl, a sort-of almanac, which was structured around the 260-day year. It was very important to know what astrological sign the baby was born beneath. Based on the astrological sign, priests would give them an appropriate name. In addition, the astrological sign would be used to try to predict the baby’s fortune.

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Budapest Was Two Cities

Budapest is the capital and most populous city of Hungary, one of the largest cities in the European Union and sometimes described as the primate city of Hungary. Budapest was originally two cities! The current capital is the result of an 1873 merger between Buda and Pest, which are separated by the river Danube. One of the first documented occurrences of the combined name "Buda-Pest" was in 1831 in the book "Világ" meaning "World" or "Light", written by count István Széchenyi.

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