Why this page?This page will be regularly fed with news from the research world. I will write about results I found particularly beautiful or significant and try to explain them in simple words.
Genome replacedPeople at the Craig Venter Institute artificially synthesized the DNA of a bacteria from its genetic code available on the internet. They replaced the DNA of another bacteria by this synthetic DNA. After some time the initial cell had transformed into the new synthetic bacteria producing a whole new set of proteins different from those obtained with its original DNA. This is not creation of life because scientist has to use a working code but it certainly has the flavor of it. Frightening isn't it? Yes, could be. Especially if this research was performed in a private company. Let's hope financial interest will not lead researchers to irreparable mistakes. This advance could also prove interesting if it allows engineering of cells useful to medicine, or to the environnement (to produce bio fuels for example). Read the original Science paper.
Flash-back: 2004 Graphene shows up!Graphene is a single layer of carbon atom organized on a honeycomb lattice (see the picture). A one atom thick material: the thinest! Graphene has been known for long because graphite (which constitutes pencil leads) is a stack of graphene. However, graphene hasn't been insolated until very recently when a Manchester group literaly peeled it from bulk graphite (using a scotch tape!!!). This was a very great new for physics and technology. We could see that material was stable and that it has extraordinay properties (the hardest, the more conductive). From a fundamental point of view this material is fantastic because free electrons behave according to the laws of relativity. Read the original paper from which this incredible story started!