Germanene: European Scientists Synthesize New Cousin of Graphene

A team of scientists from Spain, Germany and France has managed to synthesize graphene’s cousin – an atom-thin, ordered, two-dimensional material named germanene.

STM image reveals honeycomb structure of germanene. Image credit: M E Dávila et al.
Germanene does not exist in nature and is made up of a single layer of germanium atoms. It is expected to exhibit impressive electrical and optical properties and could be widely integrated across the electronics industry in the future.
First proposed in 2009, the material has, up until now, remained elusive. Since then, graphene has been developed further whilst other two-dimensional materials, such as graphene’s silicon cousin – silicene, have been synthesized.
Much like silicene, the proposed method for synthesizing germanene is to deposit indiv… Read more

Escherichia coli Engineered to Produce Renewable Propane

A team of scientists from Finland and the United Kingdom has engineered the common gut bacteria, Escherichia coli , to generate renewable propane.

This false-color scanning electron micrograph shows Escherichia coli . Image credit: Rocky Mountain Laboratories / NIAID / NIH.
Propane is a naturally occurring gas composed of three carbon atoms and eight hydrogen atoms. It is produced as a by-product of two processes – natural gas processing and petroleum refining – but both are finite resources.
In its current form it makes up the bulk of liquid petroleum gas, which is used in many applications, from central heating to camping stoves and conventional motor vehicles.
In a research paper released by the journal Nature Communications , Dr Patrik Jones of Imperial College London and the University of Turk… Read more