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Last Updated: Wednesday June 10 2009 19:27 GMT

In pics: Public vote for greatest inventions

Stephenson's Rocket steam train

Could this Rocket steam train be the greatest invention ever? That's the question the Science Museum is asking people to answer this summer.

The Apollo 10 command module in orbit

Models of what's thought to be the top 10 greatest scientific inventions, like this Apollo 10 space module, are going on display at the museum so visitors can pick out their favourite.

The Pilot ACE (Automatic Computing Engine)

Chief curator Tim Boon said: "We have selected these 10 objects because they are hugely significant in world history and the impact they had on how we live our lives today."

An x-ray of someone's hands

So what would you pick? Lots of people think the invention of the X-ray machine is a winner as it was the first thing that let doctors look inside someone's body without operating.

Penicillin inventor Professor Alexander Fleming

But that's not the only medical creation on the shortlist - Alexander Fleming's discovery of penicillin as an antibiotic led to it becoming one of the world's most widely used medicines.

Thompson's Atmospheric Engine

Mr Boon says they want the things they've chosen to get everyone talking about the importance of different inventions and discoveries over the years.

A Model T Ford motor car

Some of the inventions are old, like this Model T Ford motor car...

Crick and Watson's DNA model

Others are more modern, like this model showing the structure of DNA, which are tiny cells in the human body that link together and decide how people's bodies develop.

A V2 Rocket during testing at Cuxhaven in Germany

Trevor Bayliss, who invented the clockwork radio, said he'd vote for the V2 rocket engine as it led to space exploration and satellite development, when then led to mobile phones.

Designs for the five-needle telegraph

The electric telegraph, which was a very early form of communication, also made it into the top 10 as part of the museum's celebrations for its centenary on 22 June.



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Young science fan using a miscroscope.

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