I am here celebrating Portugal, for today 10th of June 2015, is Portugal Day. And for those who think we don't mean science you're so wrong. We are clever, we have always been astute and quite ingenious under very difficult economical conditions. From Braamcamp (inventor of the brick in 1853 - top image) to Patricio Vieira da Silva (inventor of the anticonvulsant Eslicarbazepine acetate in 2014), the world has gained from the Portuguese ingenuity and creativity. Check hereby our recent top contributions to the world of science and technology and vote/comment on the one you believe is the most impressive achievement for such a small nation as the Portuguese Republic:
ENDOSCOPY, 1965, by Fernando Alves Martins
Endoscopy means looking inside and typically refers to looking inside the body for medical reasons using an endoscope, an instrument used to examine the interior of a hollow organ or cavity of the body. Unlike most other medical imaging devices, endoscopes are inserted directly into the organ.
BIGGUN – CHILD & ACCIDENT PROOF ROTATING PERCUSSION HANDGUN, 2004, by Fernando Lopes
RPH – BIGGUN - The first Less-Than-Lethal (LTL) weapon concept to be demonstrably created in Portugal and in the XXI Century, with the main purposes of saving Human Lives. It brings various defence and safety mechanisms, which combines a high level of defence and effective protection by virtue of its unique characteristics with the advantage of providing greater safety, in order to go some way towards reducing the high firearms accident rate among adults and children. Considered the “World’s Safest Weapon”.
PROCESS FOR THE PREPARATION, UNDER SUBCRITICAL CONDITIONS OF MONOLITHIC XEROGELS AND AEROGELS OF SILICA/LATEX HIBRIDS, MODIFIED WITH AKOXYSILANE GROUPS (SPACE SHUTTLE SHIELDS - AEROGEL ), 2006, by Instituto Superior Tecnico
The invention relates to a process for the preparation of monolithic xerogels and aerogels of silica/latex hybrids under subcritical conditions. In the two-stage synthesis of these alcogels in the presence of an acid-base catalyst, the hydrolysis and polycondensation of a silicon alkoxide are carried out in an organic medium containing excess water. A latex consisting of polybutyl methacrylate and polybutyl acrylate, modified with alkoxysilane groups, is first synthesized and then incorporated in the mixture either in the first stage in order to effect its co-hydrolysis with the silicon alkoxide, or in the second stage to effect its cocondensation with the previously hydrolysed colloidal silica. The resulting alcogels are aged, washed, and dried under subcritical conditions.
ESLICARBAZEPINE ACETATE AND METHODS OF USE, 2014, by Patricio Soares da Silva
New applications of eslicarbazepine and eslicarbazepine acetate in the treatment of intractable conditions, selected from epilepsy, central and peripheric nervous system disorders, affective disorders, schizoaffective disorders, bipolar disorders, attention disorders, anxiety disorders, neurophatic pain and neuropathic pain-related disorders, sensorimotor disorders, vestibular disorders, and nervous function alterations in degenerative and post-ischemic diseases.
The Multibanco System
Portugal's Multibanco System is a sophisticated system of Automatic Teller Machines (ATM). SIBS (Sociedade Interbancária de Serviços SA), the company behind Multibanco, launched the network in September 1985 with the installation of 12 machines in Lisbon and Oporto. Over 11,000 machines are now available throughout Portugal, in banks, supermarkets, shopping malls, stations, museums and airports.
- The SIBS website has information about the Multibanco services, useful information and news in English: Click here
Prepaid Mobile Phone
A prepaid mobile phone (also commonly referred to as pay-as-you-go, pay-as-you-talk, pay and go, prepaid wireless, prepay or, if soon disposed of burner phone) is a mobile phone for which credit is purchased in advance of service use. The purchased credit is used to pay for mobile phone services at the point the service is accessed or consumed. If there is no available credit then access to the requested service is denied by the mobile phone network. Users are able to top up their credit at any time using a variety of payment mechanisms. The first European PAYG deployment was in Portugal in 1995 when Portuguese operator TMN deployed a PAYG solution called MIMO.
All-on-four dental method
Developed in the 1990s by famed dentist, inventor and businessman Paulo Maló, in collaboration with a Swiss prosthetics company called Nobel Biocare, the All-on-Four procedure quickly came to be recognized as one of the biggest breakthroughs in modern dentistry. Because the arches are replaced all at once – anchored to the jaw using four titanium screws – the procedure is faster, less invasive and less expensive than the alternative of replacing each and every tooth with its own dental implant.
Via Verde (literally "Green Lane") is an electronic toll collection system used in Portugal since 1991. It is available at all toll roads and bridges in the country since 1995. Toll roads and bridges are operated by multiple operators, the main being Brisa - Auto-estradas de Portugal. Upon passing in a non-stop lane at a toll, a DSRC tag attached to the vehicle's windshield transmits its identifier and the toll amount is debited directly from the client's bank account. If an exception is detected (the tag is invalid (or non-existent) or the vehicle's class (as detected by the lane sensors) does not correspond to the class encoded in the tag, amongst others) the vehicle is photographed and, if there is indication of fraud, a legal procedure is initiated.
See you back in July. Go on and read other posts while The Toxicologist Today is on holidays. Cheers!