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Science in Everyday Life

When we reach for something in the fridge or get into our cars we don't often pause to think about how they are made. In fact, they probably would not have been possible without the work of a Polish inventor, Tadeusz Sendzimir, who developed a new method of galvanizing steel. His inventions have been used extensively all over the world where the Sendzimir process is in general use as a  technological term.

The Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate, which in Polish is still known as the Biernacki Reaction (Odczyn Biernackiego), is one of the standard medical tests. In 1883 the Polish scientist Edmund Biernacki discovered the Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate. Another basic item of medical information is a patient's blood group, and it was a Pole, Ludwik Hirszfeld, who first conducted research in this field and established the various groups, and also discovered the hereditary mechanisms involved. He also introduced the method of designating the groups (A1, A2, B, AB and 0), which in 1928 was adopted for use internationally. Hirszfeld also invented a method used to save newborn babies whose lives were at risk owing to Rh serological incompatibility. Whenever we are in need of vitamins, not many of us remember that it was a Pole, Kazimierz Funk, who discovered them.

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