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How To Accidentally Save the World (with Fungus)

Season 1 Episode 4 | 19m 51s

How did a moldy melon from Peoria, Illinois save more than half a billion lives? And what does it have to do with using killer viruses to make people better when they’re sick? It’s all down to one notorious lab accident that most people would have just thrown in the trash. Curiosity in the face of failure is what gave us modern antibiotics…and the viruses that just might save us from superbugs.

Aired: 03/03/24
Funding for FASCINATING FAILS is provided by the National Science Foundation.
Extras
Did you know that a completely failed experiment helped us to understand our allergies?
How do these toads keep failing upward, and what can we do about it?
Is it bird poop? Is it a bomb? Nope. It’s the Big Bang! A hiss heard only by accident.
The only reason we have general anesthesia today is because of a Victorian party drug.
The substance that colors most of our modern world was invented…by accident.
Latest Episodes
Did you know that a completely failed experiment helped us to understand our allergies?
How do these toads keep failing upward, and what can we do about it?
Is it bird poop? Is it a bomb? Nope. It’s the Big Bang! A hiss heard only by accident.
The only reason we have general anesthesia today is because of a Victorian party drug.
The substance that colors most of our modern world was invented…by accident.