Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Search Challenge (5/4/16): Which animals are associated with what professions?

It's time for a bit of fun... 

... and, in truth, a Challenge that's both easy... and pretty hard.  

Here's the key idea for this week.  

As you know, some animals seems to be closely linked to certain professions.  For example, the dalmatian dog is often thought of in connection with firefighters (at least in the US).  If you see a dalmatian dog (the white dog with black spots below), you think of a firefighter. 

There's an interesting reason why that's so, but I'll leave that to you to find out.  

But thinking about this larger question--HOW would you find something that's difficult to express as a search?  

The key of this week's Challenge is to see if we can find a general strategy to discover which animals are linked to particular jobs.  

Here's how I'm going to put this week's Challenge: 

Can you find an animal that's closely linked to a particular profession?  What's the animal?  What's the profession?  And what's the connection? 

I can think of a couple of professions and animal connections (and maybe you can too).  I suspect the more difficult problem here is to come up with a search query that will work to identify such things.  Bear in mind we're looking for a common relationship between an animal and the profession.  

And no, we don't want things like cow / farmer, or snake / snake milker--those are animals that are basically farm animals.  What we're looking for is something like the dog / firefighter relationship--an animal that is a symbol of the profession.

This is easy, in the sense that you probably know a couple of these already... you just have to say what they are. 

But it's hard in that I don't know how to express a query that will find such relationships.  

Can you?  

Be sure to say HOW you found your animal / profession pair.  And if you can, let us know why that animal is linked to that profession.

Search on! 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Answer: What are those smoke plumes?

When you're searching... 

... for something that has no obvious connection, and is imprecise as well, you need to leverage every bit of information given.   

Let's think about what information we have:   

Time/Date:  February 18th, 2016, in the early afternoon 

Location:  just north of Mobile, Alabama

Direction of photo: Looking south 

And then later (with the additional hint) we found out that we could pin down the time and location even more precisely: 

Time:  1:20PM Central 

Location:  where AA 2820 was at 1:20PM Central time.  

The Challenge was: 

1.  Can you identify WHY it looks like half of Alabama is on fire?  What's going on in this photo?  

What can we do to pin down the exact location?  (And why do we want to do this?  Answer:  Trust nobody, especially in their estimates of time and location...even me...)  

This isn't hard, but you need to know that there are flight tracking websites that let you enter a flight number (e.g., AA 2820) and then you can see the flight track.  The simplest query is: 

     [ flight tracker ] 

which will give you a long list of them.  I used, which also provides historical flight track data.  (I didn't want to pay to go all the way back in time, so I chose a representative flight so I could estimate the position.)  

The FlightAware system tells you what the scheduled time of departure was, and the actual time.  It tells us that it's a 90 minute flight with a scheduled departure of 12:10PM, but a common delay of around 20 minutes.  So, if the flight left at 12:20PM, the flight would be where at 1:20PM?  Answer:  It would be about 60 minutes into a 90 minute flight, or about 2/3rds of the way to Tallahassee.  In the figure below, I've taken the flight path from FlightAware and added red arrows, each exactly 1/3th of the total distance.  As you can see, the 2/3rds point is just as the flight crosses from Mississippi into Alabama.

A little map to remind you of the layout of the US southeastern states: 

So we've verified that this is the right place at 1:20PM Central on Feb 18, 2016.  

Is there any way we can verify that there were large numbers of smoky fires burning on that date?  

You could check lots of local newspapers for air quality reports, or stories about smoke in the air--but a simpler way would be find a satellite image for southern Alabama on that day.  How would you do that?

My first query was for: 

     [ satellite images smoke fire ] 

 NOAA's hazard mapping system. There's a TON of content in there, but in particular, it was reading around there that I learned about NASA’s WorldView.  It's like Google Earth with worldwide archival satellite coverage.  (When you try it, be sure to turn on the "Corrected Reflectance" layers by clicking on the eye icon on the left side of the layer.)  Once you do that, you can cruise through time and space to see remarkable images of almost any place on earth, going back in time quite a while...  Here's the way the west coast of North America looked on May 1st, a glorious day in California... and Washington... and Oregon... and Baja California...  

More to the point, we can use this same WorldView to look back in time to Feb 18th.  If there are smoke plumes, we should be able to see them, yes? 

Here's the link to the way Alabama looked at midday, Feb 18th, 2016.  (Image below. Note that I’ve turned on TrueColor; set the date, etc.)  

Notice ALL of the plumes of smoke.  There's a lot of burning going on.  

I also discovered by reading around on that NOAA site that I can also download a SMOKE or FIRE KML file from NOAA for that same date.  If you import this Feb 18th KML file into Google Earth, you'll see this display (notice that this is a Google Earth view--the file includes the NOAA logo in the upper left):  

This confirms that these really are plumes of smoke from fires.  

Now think about this:  If there really were this many wildfires in Alabama and Mississippi, you would have probably heard about them.  But I don't recall anything like this at the time, so a more plausible explanation is that they're agricultural burns.  

How can we test this?  I like Ramon's solution for this, where he used the intext: operator to require that Alabama be in the text of the web page.  

     [ smoke plumes intext:alabama february 18 2016  ] 

this finds a number of news articles covering controlled burns, tire fires, and a few wildfires. 

But an important skill is picking up the language that's used.  In this case, I read an article that talked about smoke coming from a controlled burn.  So I modified the query to be (and this is almost exactly what AlmadenMike did):  

     [ controlled burn intext:alabama february 18 2016 ] 

which leads to a number of stories about controlled burns (such as this one, at Grand Bay, AL, that got away and turned into a bigger fire).  If you lookup Grand Bay, AL, you'll see it's one of the plumes in the satellite image above.  

I also really liked AlmadenMike's extension to the search process.  He suggested that you "...add "permits" to the search terms... [this] finds a US Department of Agriculture/Forest Service website about controlled burns within local national forests, including the Conecuh NF (NE of Mobile)..."  

Nice idea.  

So I think we've shown pretty conclusively that these are mostly controlled burns,  although a few have run away from their tenders.  

Search Lessons

1.  Sometimes you have to actually know something about data resources.  To solve this Challenge efficiently, you have to know about systems like FlightTracker or FlightAware, or at least be willing to search for their coverage... and know that they keep archival data for flights around for quite a while.  

2.  Carefully reading data descriptions can often lead to other resources.  It was only by reading the text of the descriptions for the NOAA that I learned about NASA's WorldView (which I should have already known about--I won't forget it now).  

3.  Triangulation from multiple information sources is a great idea.  Here I wasn't really sure about the location of the image (over Alabama?  over Mississippi?  over Florida?)--I thought I had it right, but getting the time of the flight, and doing a quick calculation confirmed that I was right over the AL/MI border.  That was doubly confirmed when the NOAA images and KML file showed fires almost exactly where I could see them from the plane.  Each data piece fit into the whole picture... and it was all consistent.  (Notice that this worked out here--think about what you'd do if it did NOT work out?)  

For Teachers

These kinds of Challenges ("here's a picture.. what's going on?") are wonderful for developing curiosity and thinking about what information resources you can tap into to solve the Challenge.  The biggest problem that students have is that they just don't know so many resources.  Consider creating teams of students to work on "find this" Challenges--and give them a couple of days.  I predict they'll solve most of the Challenges by learning HOW to find additional information resources.  And that's the best lesson of all.  

Search on!  

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Additional hint: What are those smoke plumes?

Does it help if I tell you...

.. that when I saw the smoke plumes, I was on AA 2820, around 1:20PM, Central?  

Thinking strategically... 

And searching on! 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Search Challenge (4/27/16): What are those smoke plumes?

Every so often... 

... (well, quite frequently for me!)... you'll see things that you just don't understand.  Maybe it's a funny insect, or a interesting flower, or an odd plant growing in a place you don't expect.  

I have this curiosity inspiring moments fairly often.  Usually, I'll write myself a note to "look this up later"  I flag it in my notes with the prefix L/U (for "look-up"), and every so often when I can't figure them out, I pose them to you as a SearchResearch Challenge.  

Last February 18th, 2016, in the early afternoon I was flying just north of Mobile, Alabama, when I looked south out of my window and saw this: 

This is the best shot I could get with my camera.  I didn't have polarizing filters to help cut down on the glare.  And yes, that's my checked shirt you can see reflected in the window.

As you can see, there are 5 rather large billows of smoke rising from the ground.  This week's Challenge is to... 

1.  Can you identify WHY it looks like half of Alabama is on fire?  What's going on in this photo?  

As I said, this is really just one instance of the general search problem--how do you go from the information given to a clear explanation of what's going on.  

How would you search for something this dramatic, and this difficult-to-understand from 30,000 feet in the air?  

If you figure it out, let us know HOW you figured it out.  (If you just happened to know, that's fine--put your answer in the comment stream with a comment like "I live there" or "I just happen to know..."  Those kinds of answers are good too!)  

This week.... Search on... 

... for the fire!  

Monday, April 25, 2016

Answer: An architectural plant?

The SearchResearch question this week is... 

... to understand what would make me smile when I saw this plant (below) growing at the base of these columns (above on the left) ... 

I asked the Challenge this way:   

1.  What about seeing this plant at the base of these columns made me smile?  What's funny / odd / surprising about this little scene?  (In other words, what's the connection between the plants and the columns?  No, it's not that the plants are planted at the foot of the columns.  It's much more obvious than that.)  

For instance, if you start with the simple query:  

     [ plant column ] 

about halfway down the results you'll see a result about a plant stand, but it will include the word acanthus.  

Now, at this point in your research, you probably don't know what that word means, but as a researcher, you'll want to look it up.  

This is the easiest way:  [ define acanthus ] 

Note the second definition!  That's a connection to our search Challenge!  An image search for acanthus shows you: 

When looking for connections between ideas, a great way to start is with the most obvious query.  

But since we know we're searching in an architectural context, I would add in the term architecture, do a search for: 

        [ plants columns architecture ] 

But notice that I did NOT do a search for: 

     *  [ plants at base of columns ]     -- note: by convention, a leading * on the query 
                                                                                           -- indicates that this is NOT a good query to 
                                                                                           -- use for this Challenge
Why not?  

Because while there might be plants that are commonly planted at the bottoms of columns, that's not what's of interest.  Remember that the key observation was that this made me smile--that suggests that it's a little bit of a surprise, maybe something that's NOT common at the base of plants.  This starred search would find the most common plants that live at column bases.  

I chose that term because the Challenge explicitly mentioned that "I was thinking about architecture...," but more importantly, columns are architectural elements, and so I thought it would be a useful way to add context to the search.  Look at this search below: 

You can see that the first few results are for Egyptian columns.  If you read those results a bit, you'll find that the plants sculpted into Egyptian columns are papyrus plants, which look very different than the leaves in the photo.  Keep going a bit farther down, and ... 

Again, you see the Acanthus result, and the connection between Acanthus (the plant) and acanthus (the top of the column). 

IF, on the other hand, you recognize the columns as being Corinthian, your search could be: 

     [ Corinthian column plants ] 

By reading through the SERP, it doesn't take long to learn that there are leaves at the top of a Corinthian column are called acanthus leaves.  Looking at the columns up close (which I assume you did!), you'll see that these carved leaves look a lot like the plants shown.

I confirmed this by searching for: 

     [ Corinthian column acanthus ] 

and found a great deal of information confirming that in fact the acanthus IS the basis for the design of the leafy parts of the column.  

The acanthus design dates to around 450 BCE.  The oldest known Corinthian column is in the Temple of Apollo Epicurius at Bassae in Arcadia (now Greece).  

Much later, the Roman writer Vitruvius (c. 75 BC – c. 15 BC) told the story that the Corinthian order may have been invented by Callimachus, a Greek architect and sculptor who was inspired by the sight of a votive basket left on young girl's grave. A square tile had been placed over the basket, and an acanthus plant had grown through the woven basket, forcing its leaves up through the basket, just as the top of column might be sculpted.  

The origin story of the Corinthian Order,
illustrated in Claude Perrault's translation of Vitruvius, 1684.
The basket with tablet on top and invasive acanthus is shown
near the bottom of the figure.  Link to Wikimedia.

So why did it make me smile?  Because it seemed like the acanthus plant was trying to grow to the top of the column--in essence, it was trying to get to the top... but it's not going to make it. It just seemed like an acanthus that was striving to reach the top, to where it thought it belonged. 

Search Lessons 

The key idea here is that you're exploring the concept connections between two different ideas.  For this Challenge, it's how this random plant connects with these columns.   So--how to do you this?  

1. Start with a query that includes both concepts, and start looking for the connections.  The trick here is to start with a pretty generic query that lists both concepts. and then start looking for links. As we saw above, it takes a bit of work, but can lead you to the results.   

2. A great way to focus your "connection search" is to add a context term.  In the solution above, we added the context term architecture Think about context terms as the extra search terms that describe the general topic area; it's a way to reduce the confusion about how the terms might be used in multiple ways. Context terms are incredibly useful--use them well! 

For Teachers

For teaching, finding connections is a great way to spark curiosity.  One task that I sometimes give to students is to find a click-chain from one topic to another in Wikipedia.  It's not quite the same as doing a search task, but it's a great deal of fun to try and find the shortest possible path from the Wikipedia entry on turquoise and oranges. Or, if you're going to follow the ideas in this blogpost, start at column and find a path to acanthus.  (It's easy now, but if you haven't read this post, it's a bit tricky... and fun.)  

Or, you could just try to find connections between historical figures or events.  For a fun example, see my post about the connection between the phrase “The Myrtle of Venus with Bacchus's Vine” and....  defense by reason of insanity.

Finding connections is an important piece of making history come alive... and of making reading much more fun and interesting.  

Have fun making up your question--and let me know if you find some great connections that we might use in a future Search Challenge!  

Search on! 


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Search Challenge (4/20/16): An architectural plant?

I've been thinking about architecture lately, 

... and so it was with some bemusement that I saw some columns (specifically, the ones shown above on the left) that made me smile when I saw them.  Why?  Because this plant was growing at the base of the columns... 

I've shown all three variants on the column theme to give you a sense for what's going on.

This week's Challenge is simply this:  

1.  What about seeing this plant at the base of these columns made me smile?  What's funny / odd / surprising about this little scene?  (In other words, what's the connection between the plants and the columns?  No, it's not that the plants are planted at the foot of the columns.  It's much more obvious than that.)  

Although I've seen lots of classical Greek columns--in architectural follies, on banks, and on distinguished federal buildings--seeing this particular juxtaposition was the first time I actually smiled.  Can you figure out what I found amusing?  

(Hint: I know this sounds slightly odd--but give it a go.  If you just think about what connections might exist, you'll figure it out. Think about what kind of columns these are...)  

Search on! 

The same plant growing nearby.... 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Answer: How well do medical results stand the test of time?

What we know to be true changes...

It's a big mistake to think that what you know to be true is a constant.  Certainly there are eternal verities, but in this post I want to focus in on what we might think of as true, but as we'll see, turn out to be provisional.  This is particularly true for medical results:  At any one moment in time, we might think we have a lock on the truth, but this often turns out to be just our current best approximation.    
(To repeat my caveat from last week:  I should say that I'm not picking on Medicine as a field--it's just a nice illustration of how much our knowledge of the world shifts over time.  You could ask these same questions of physics, or chemistry, or biology.  Medicine is a bit simpler to study for SearchResearch purposes.) 

As you know, the Nobel Prize is awarded annually for outstanding contributions in a number of areas, including Medicine.

So I asked the question:  

1.  If we look at the Nobel Prizes awarded in the field of Medicine in the 1920s, how many of those highly acclaimed results from the 20s are still believed to be true?   
Let's start by finding the list of the Nobel Prizes for medicine that were awarded in the 1920s.  My query was: 

     [ nobel prizes medicine list  ] 

which handily takes me to the Nobel Prize organization's list of prizes awarded in Medicine.  

When you pull the awards in the 1920's, you get this list: 

1929  (2 awards)  
Christiaan Eijkman "for his discovery of the antineuritic vitamin"
 Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins "for his discovery of the growth-stimulating vitamins"
Charles Jules Henri Nicolle "for his work on typhus"
Julius Wagner-Jauregg "for his discovery of the therapeutic value of malaria inoculation in the treatment of dementia paralytica"
Johannes Andreas Grib Fibiger "for his discovery of the Spiroptera carcinoma"
 1925None awarded
 Willem Einthoven "for his discovery of the mechanism of the electrocardiogram"
 Frederick Grant Banting and John James Rickard Macleod "for the discovery of insulin"
 1922 (2 awards)
Archibald Vivian Hill "for his discovery relating to the production of heat in the muscle"
 Otto Fritz Meyerhof "for his discovery of the fixed relationship between the consumption of oxygen and the metabolism of lactic acid in the muscle"
 1921None awarded
Schack August Steenberg Krogh "for his discovery of the capillary motor regulating mechanism"

At this point, it's just a matter of doing a bit of searching for each topic to discover which of these are currently held to be true.  Here's a quick summary of what I found... 

1929: Christiaan Eijkman found that when chickens (in Indonesia!) were fed polished rice, they got sick with beriberi, but when they were switched back to regular (unpolished rice), they recovered.  Working with Frederick Hopkins, they determined that a particular chemical, a "vital amine," was responsible for Beriberi.  That term was shortened by Casimir Funk to "vitamin," and this particular one was called "B," and later changed to B1.

Interestingly, Eikjkman believed beriberi to be caused by a nerve poison in the endosperm of rice, from which the outer layers of the grain gave protection to the body. It was his collaborators who figured out the correct mechanism.  (And, even more interestingly, a decade earlier, in 1884, Kanehiro Takaki, a surgeon general in the Japanese navy, hypothesized that berberi was due to insufficiencies in the sailor's diet. He discovered that substituting a diet of white rice with one that also had barley, meat, milk, bread, and vegetables nearly eliminated beriberi over a 9-month sea voyage. However, Takaki incorrectly attributed the benefit to increased nitrogen intake, as vitamins were unknown substances at the time.)

     Summary:  Still believed.  

1928:  Charles Nicolle found that while epidemic typhus patients were able to infect other patients, their clothes seemed to spread the disease.  Oddly, he observed that they were no longer infectious when they had had a hot bath and a change of clothes. Once he realized this, he reasoned that it was most likely that lice were the vector for epidemic typhus.

Nicolle tested this theory by infecting a chimpanzee with typhus, retrieving the lice from it, and placing it on a healthy chimpanzee. (Now that's an interesting experiment!)  Within 10 days the second chimpanzee had typhus as well. 

Further research showed that the major transmission method was not louse bites but excrement: lice infected with typhus turn red and die after a couple of weeks, but meanwhile they excrete a large number of microbes. When a small quantity of louse poop is rubbed on the skin or eye, an infection occurs. Kids, don't try to replicate this experiment at home.  

     Summary:  Still believed.  

1927:  Julius Wagner-Jauregg studied the effects of treating mental illness by inducing a fever, an approach known as pyrotherapy. Eventually he tried giving patients malaria, which proved to be very successful in the case of dementia paralytica (also called general paresis of the insane), which was caused by neurosyphilis, at that time a fatal disease. It had been known for some time that patients who developed high fevers could be cured of syphilis. As a consequence, giving doses of the malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax was used to induce prolonged and high fevers. This was considered an acceptable risk because the malaria could later be treated with quinine. The technique was known as malariotherapy; however, it was dangerous, killing about 15% of patients, so it is no longer in use.

     Summary:  Pyrotherapy really does work, but giving patients malaria is too risky;
     there are better methods.  No longer believed to be a good idea.    

1926:  Johannes Andreas Grib Fibiger had claimed to find an organism he called Spiroptera carcinoma that caused gastric cancers in mice and rats. He received a Nobel prize for this discovery. On the other hand, it was later shown that this specific organism was not the primary cause of the tumors. On the other, other hand, he was one of the first demonstrations that an infection could be a cause of tumor growth.  He was clearly the first person to induce cancer in laboratory animals – a major step forward for cancer research. However, Katsusaburo Yamagiwa, only two years later successfully induced squamous cell carcinoma by painting crude coal tar on the inner surface of rabbits' ears. (Some think he should have also received a Nobel...)  

The worm is now named Gongylonema neoplasticum. Later research has since shown that while the worms can stimulate cancerous cells to form tumors, the worms themselves are not a direct cause of cancer, as they are not carcinogenic to healthy cells.  Oddly enough, Fibiger died of colon cancer... 

     Summary:  Not quite right.  

1924:  Willem Einthoven invented a version of the electrocardiogram, now a commonplace tool in medical offices everywhere.  Beginning in 1901, Einthoven completed a series of prototypes of a string galvanometer. This device used a very thin filament of conductive wire passing between very strong magnets. When a current passed through the filament, the magnetic field created by the current would cause the string to move. A light shining on the string would cast a shadow on a moving roll of photographic paper, thus forming a continuous curve showing the movement of the string. The original machine required water cooling for the powerful electromagnets, required 5 people to operate it and weighed some 270 kilograms. This device increased the sensitivity of the standard galvanometer so that the electrical activity of the heart could be measured despite the insulation of flesh and bones.

ECG device around 1880.
     Summary:  Still believed. (And has vastly improved since then.)  

1923:  As happens, Frederick Banting had to give a talk to students about the pancreas in 1920. While prepping for the class, he read that diabetes seems to result from a lack of a protein hormone secreted by the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas. This putative hormone was called "insulin" and was thought to control the metabolism of sugar. Missing insulin led to an increase of sugar in the blood which was then excreted in urine.

Banting them figured out a process to create insulin from the pancreas. He discussed this approach with J. J. R. Macleod, Professor of Physiology at the University of Toronto. Macleod provided experimental facilities and the assistance of one of his students, Charles Best. Banting and Best, with the assistance of biochemist James Collip, began the production of insulin.  

Banting and Macleod were jointly awarded the 1923 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Banting flew into a rage that he would share the Prize with Macleod, whom he felt had not contributed enough to deserve the Prize. He eventually decided to split his half of the Prize money with Best. In response, Macleod split the other half of the Prize money with James Collip.

     Summary:  Still believed.  

1922:  Archibald Vivian Hill was an English physiologist, one of the founders of biophysics and operations research. His important work was on the problem of lactic acid in muscle, particularly in relation to the effect of oxygen upon its removal in recovery.  This in turn led him to study the dependence of heat production on the length of muscle fibre.

His work on muscle function, especially the observation and measurement of thermal changes associated with muscle function, was later extended to similar studies on the mechanism of the passage of nerve impulses. Very sensitive techniques had to be developed and he was eventually able to measure temperature changes of the order of 0.003°C over periods of only hundredths of a second. He was the discoverer of the effect that heat was produced as a result of the passage of nerve impulses. His insights gave rise to an enthusiastic following in the field of biophysics.

Otto Meyerhof's showed in isolated but otherwise intact frog muscle (that is, without most of the frog attached), the lactic acid formed is reconverted to carbohydrate in the presence of oxygen.  He also showed that his preparation of a KC1 extract of muscle could carry out all the steps of glycolysis with added glycogen and hexose-diphosphate in the presence of hexokinase derived from yeast. (Sorry, but that's as simple as it gets.  Somethings really are complicated.)  

In other studies, he also showed how glucose was also glycolysed, and this became the foundation of the Embden-Meyerhof theory of glycolysis (now called the Embden-Meyerhof-Parnas pathway). He was able to show that there is a fixed relationship between the consumption of oxygen and the metabolism of lactic acid in the muscle.

After his work on lactic acid and heart muscles, he went on to show that some phosphorylated compounds are rich in energy, which influenced not only our concepts of muscular contraction, but of the entire significance of cellular metabolism. A continuously increasing number of enzymatic reactions are becoming known in which the energy of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the compound isolated by his associate Lohmann, provides the energy for endergonic synthesis reactions. The importance of this discovery for the understanding of cellular mechanisms is generally recognized and can hardly be overestimated.

     Summary:  Still believed.  

1920:  Schack August Steenberg Krogh worked on the mechanism of regulation of the capillaries in skeletal muscle. He was first to describe the adaptation of blood perfusion in muscle and other organs according to metabolic demands by opening and closing the arterioles and capillaries.  Interestingly, in a link to the Nobel Prize of 1923, together with his colleague Hagedorn in 1922, Krogh made contributions to create a method for producing insulin by ethanol extraction from the pancreatic glands of pigs, thereby reducing the cost and increasing its availability.  

     Summary:  Still believed.  

Search Lessons 

I'm not sure there's much to tell you here about clever search methods--just that sometimes when doing research you need to spend the time to actually read through your findings, and not just take it on faith that everything you see initially is correct.  

Or perhaps the real SearchResearch lesson is the realization that even things we hold to be true now are subject to updates and improvements as we learn more.  Sometimes they're tossed out altogether.  What you know now to be true... may no longer be true in a few years.  

(This was highlighted by Ramón in his comment about the Nobel Prize Search on the use of lobotomy as a psychiatric treatment, recognized with a Nobel Prize to António Egas Moniz in 1940.  In the context of the time it was considered revolutionary.  But now that we've learned more, that treatment is no longer considered acceptable.)   

I hope you enjoyed this Challenge as much as I did.  I read a good deal about each of these Nobel recipients, trying to understand their work in the context of their times, as well as trying to understand it WRT how we think about these things today.  

As always, stay curious. 

And Search On!