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11 Gifts To Humanity This Innovative College Has Given To Us All

What do fluoride toothpaste, sour beer, and the first flower all have in common? Simply put, Indiana University.

1. Double Helix Structure of DNA

James Watson, most famously associated with Francis Crick, Maurice Wilkins, and Rosalind Franklin for making the groundbreaking discovery of the structure of DNA, was awarded a Nobel prize in 1962 in Physiology or Medicine. Watson received his PhD from Indiana University in 1950.

2. Twitter Predictor

In February 2013, Johan Bollen, associate professor of informatics and computing at Indiana University, filed US Patent No. 8,380,607 titled “Predicting Economic Trends via Network Communication Mood Tracking.” Bollen hypothesized that stock market’s performance was directly correlated to public mood, and that public mood can be measured. Through this, he created a Twitter stock market predictor.

3. Fluoride Toothpaste

Indiana University dental scientist Joseph Muhler, Indiana University chemist William Nebergall, and head of the Indiana University chemistry department Harry Day made dental history in the 1950s. In a Procter & Gamble–funded research project, the trio was able to develop toothpaste that used stannous fluoride and a calcium pyrophosphate abrasive, revolutionizing dental care with the advent of fluoride toothpaste. P&G named the toothpaste Crest and began selling it nationally in 1956.

4. New Material for Fuel Cells

Trevor Douglas, the Earl Blough professor of chemistry in the IU College of Arts and Sciences' chemistry department, led a study that has created a highly efficient biomaterial that catalyzes the formation of hydrogen — one half of the Holy Grail of splitting H2O to make hydrogen and oxygen for fueling cheap and efficient cars that run on water. This was accomplished by protecting a modified enzyme within the protein shell — or "capsid" — of a bacterial virus.

5. First Breathalyzer

Indiana University professor Rolla N. Harger created a device to measure the drunkenness in humans called the Drunkometer in 1931. After unveiling it at a American Chemical Society meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana State Police first used the first device on New Year’s Eve in 1938.

6. The World’s View on Kissing

Justin Garcia, research scientist at Kinsey Institute at Indiana University, observed 168 cultures throughout the world to better understand where kissing does and doesn’t occur. Using standard cross-cultural methods, the study found that fewer than half of all cultures surveyed — 46% — engage in romantic/sexual kissing. Romantic kissing was defined as lip-to-lip contact that may or may not be prolonged.

7. Treatment for Testicular Cancer

Lawrence H. Einhorn, MD, a medical oncologist on the Indiana University faculty, developed a treatment that took the survival rate of testicular cancer patients from 5% to an awe-inspiring level of 95%. He was able accomplish this feat by adding cisplatin to his treatment regimen.

8. The First Flower?

Indiana University paleobotanist David Dilcher and colleagues in Europe have identified a 125 million- to 130 million-year-old freshwater plant as one of earliest flowering plants on Earth. The aquatic plant, Montsechia vidalii, once grew abundantly in freshwater lakes in what are now mountainous regions in Spain. Fossils of the plant were first discovered more than 100 years ago in the limestone deposits of the Iberian Range in central Spain and in the Montsec Range of the Pyrenees, near the country’s border with France.

9. The Ability to Save Sour Beer

One of the fastest growing sectors for craft brews is sour beer. One problem, its production is highly susceptible to high acidity, which affects the yeast needed to produce the beer. Matthew Bochman, an assistant professor in the IU College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, found a way to overcome this condition by pre-adapting the yeast.

10. Genes Responsible for Pain

W. Daniel Tracey Jr., a professor in the IU College of Arts and Sciences' Linda and Jack Gill Center for Biomolecular Science and the Department of Biology, has led a study that has found a suite of genes in both fruit flies and humans which plays a role in nerve sensitivity. A total of 36 genes were identified as having a role in either hypersensitivity or lack of sensation to stimuli, 20 of which are found in both humans and fruit flies, or Drosophila. Approximately 70% of genes in humans are also found in flies, originating in a common ancestor.

11. The Kinsey Scale and Sexology

Alfred Kinsey developed a scale to measure sexual orientation, which ranges from 0 to 6, where 0 is exclusively heterosexual and 6 is exclusively homosexual; a rating of X for "no socio-sexual contacts or reactions" was later added. Renowned for being the first major American sexologist, Kinsey was the author of the Kinsey Reports and was the founder of the Institute for Sex Research at Indiana University, which is now known as the Kinsey Institute.

Illustrations by Daniel Blaushild © BuzzFeed

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