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Nobel laureate Andre Geim would like graphene to be used as a means of quickly and cheaply sequencing DNA

For a thousand dollars or maybe even less, any person will be able to know what will almost certainly cause his death, and will also be able to deal with the diseases as early as possible. He said at a press conference at the Nano Israel conference


President Shimon Peres and Nobel laureate in physics Andre Geim at the Nano Israel conference, November 2010. Photo: Ilan Levy
President Shimon Peres and Nobel laureate in physics Andre Geim at the Nano Israel conference, November 2010. Photo: Ilan Levy

Andre Geim, one of the two winners of the Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of graphene, is only one-quarter Jewish and three-quarters of German origin, but he knows anti-Semitism and suffers from it from a young age, when he suffered because of his Jewish name, he was called a Jew from Loch at school. This led me to want to understand the difficulties of the Jewish people, Gaim explained in response to a question from one of the journalists at a press conference as part of a press conference at the Nano Israel conference, which took place this week at the Dan Panorama Hotel in Tel Aviv with the participation of about a thousand scientists and industrialists from Israel and the world.

Geim is still not digesting the fact of his winning the Nobel Prize, in response to the question of the science website, why the Nobel Prize committee chose specifically in the field of graphene and why in physics and not in chemistry, he said: "I can't get into the heads of the members of the Swedish Academy of Sciences, they may have thought that graphene is not such a molecule Complicated for the chemists, but the research conducted by me and my colleague Konstantin Novoslov from the University of Manchester mainly dealt with the physical aspects and physical properties of single-layer graphene, which are different from those of graphite, which is the same material but in a multi-layered state.

One of the interesting uses he sees for graphene, the single-layer carbon material that he was involved in discovering, is for sequencing human DNA, when the DNA will penetrate through the graphene layer molecule by molecule and there will be a record of every DNA base in a sequence that surrounds the person and that this will cost the subject less than a thousand dollars compared to ten It costs thousands of dollars to sequence a person's DNA today. Everyone will be able to know what he might end up dying from.

According to him, there is still a long way to go before graphene replaces silicon in mass electronics applications. Actually some people and many hundreds of people are enthusiastic about graphene and say that there was the bronze age, and the iron age and the silicon or plastic age, now we are moving into the graphene age. In principle, this is possible, but there are fundamental difficulties in using graphene as a substitute for silicon. I do not believe that in the next ten years this will happen, it is still far beyond the horizon and I cannot give you an estimate about possible applications. It is a dream of many graphene researchers, but whether it will become a reality is still (hard to tell).
There are less grandiose niche applications where we get to market quickly. For example, the transparent conductive components in computer screens (indium tin oxide). The lack of indium is a problem in production and graphene seems to be a good replacement for touch screens. I promise you that when I visit Korea in the summer, Samsung will have prepared a graphene-based touch screen by then.

In response to my question about how he will behave from now on as a Nobel Prize winner, and what topic he will promote, he said: "I am a fairly recent winner. I'm trying to figure out how to live with this hassle. I have received many important awards in the scientific fields I am involved in, about six months ago I was asked what would happen if I won the Nobel Prize, I said that it would be fine, and that I would continue as usual, but I understand that it is not exactly like that. I saw what happened with other Nobel laureates. Some became megalomaniacal, others decided they needed to prove it wasn't a one time accident and started working so hard and went crazy, I think I'll survive between those two extremes. I'm just a normal guy trying to do good.

Gaim spoke about the strength of science in Israel, which with relatively small means reaches achievements in many fields, including the field of life sciences. He also said that the academy is strong in the field of nanotechnology and thanked Prof. Uri Sion of the Technion for the invitation to appear at the Nano Israel conference. Sivan and with him also Prof. Aryeh Tsavan, head of the Nanotechnology Institute in Bar-Ilan, also participated in the conversation with the journalists and said particularly difficult things about the gloomy future of the Israeli academy in the absence of a base resulting from the decline in the level of schools from elementary and above, the number of people applying to science in high school that is decreasing, in relation to my students as consumers and the decrease in the amount of materials taught in each subject, as well as the fact that hundreds of faculty members are about to retire and it will be very difficult to find replacements for them.

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