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Tue, May 27

Making Room for Luck

Most scientists can point to an instance when serendipity played a role in their work. Some of the most exciting scientific discoveries have happened by accident. Penicillin resulted from a spoiled bacteria culture. The radioactivity of uranium without outside light was discovered when a cloudy day derailed an experiment with sunlight. Indeed, two scientists at Duke University School of Medicine feel their careers have been transformed by serendipity. One, a pharmacologist and cancer biologist, has found his way into an unexpected avenue of work that may lead to a new treatment for HIV. Another, a neuroscientist, is recognized as an innovator in understanding brain injury and repair, but he never planned to go into science in the first place.

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