In 1796, English physician Edward Jenner had a hunch. As hundreds of thousands around him succumbed to the blistering agony of smallpox, Jenner’s eye was on the rosy, unblemished complexion of Sarah Nelmes, a local milkmaid. Her skin bore none of the oozing lesions that signaled almost certain death for a third of smallpox sufferers—save for her hands, busily milking a cow named Blossom.
The locals called the unsightly affliction “cowpox.” But apart from a smattering of welts, Sarah and her fellow milkmaids were remarkably free of disease. To Jenner, this wasn’t a coincidence. Acting on little more than sparse observations, Jenner decided to extract a small sample of Sarah’s pus and inject it into the arm of a young boy named James Phipps. To everyone’s amazement—including Jenner’s—when Jenner stuck Phipps with a second needle, this time sporting a hefty dose of smallpox, Phipps remained healthy. Against all odds, the risky treatment had granted the child miraculous immunity.
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Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.