The Large Hadron Collider
Every one waited with baited breath as it was turned on hoping it was not the end of the world, but what an anticlimax as the switch was thrown nothing exciting seemed to happen, we had to wait to see if it had worked. It only lasted 2 weeks before a helium leak caused it to shut down making what should have been one of the top scientific breakthroughs of 2008 a disaster. They hope to have it up and running again by June 2009. Lets see if it makes next years list.
Geneticist J. Craig Venter attempted to create life and managed it. He stitched together the 582,000 base pairs necessary to invent the genetic information for a whole new bacterium. His next task is to boot up that DNA programming in a living bacterium to see if it takes charge of the organism.
Electric Sports Car
And you all thought electric cars were slow and sounded like milk floats, well think again. The Tesla Roadster is a battery-powered sports car that sells for $100,000 and has a top speed of 125 m.p.h. (200 km/h). It has a slick single gear reduction transmission, which gives 0-60 performance of 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 125mph. I saw the Top Gear test and I actually fell in love with the car, as a fan of renewable and clean energy I think it is a great idea, but a it far out of my reach price wise.
The Chevy Volt
This is another electric car but it still has a petrol engine which is used to recharge the electric engine if you are traveling more than 40 miles. So it will be a great car for those who only do 40 miles or less in a day. Could this be car of the year in 2010 when it is officially launched?
Retail DNA Test
This is Time Magazines invention of the year and is made by 23andMe. it is a $399 saliva test that estimates your predisposition for more than 90 traits and conditions ranging from baldness to blindness. You order the service online and mails in a spit sample.
And for all you Harry Potter fans fancy owning an invisibility cloak of your own? Well thanks to a group of Scientists at UC Berkeley it is one step closer to becoming a reality. They've engineered two new materials, one using a fishnet of metal layers, the other using tiny silver wires that neither absorb nor reflect light, causing it instead to bend backward. The principle at work is refraction, which is what makes a straw appear bent in a glass of water. This has to be my invention of 2008