Until this year, all human-made objects have moved according to the laws of classical mechanics. Back in March, however, a group of researchers designed a gadget that moves in ways that can only be described by quantum mechanics—the set of rules that governs the behavior of tiny things like molecules, atoms, and subatomic particles. In recognition of the conceptual ground this experiment breaks, the ingenuity behind it, and its many potential applications, Science has called this discovery the most significant scientific advance of 2010.
Scientists have developed the first cell controlled by a synthetic genome, and now hope to use this method to probe the basic machinery of life and to engineer bacteria specially designed to solve environmental or energy problems.
The study was published online by the journal Science, at the Science Express website, on Thursday, 20 May. The Science authors discussed their findings in a Thursday press conference at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.