New comic series: Science with a Smile

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Can some ingredients found in garlic be used to treat disease? (Yes)
Is extracting oil from sand fields a lost cause? (No)
Could nanotubes be used to build an elevator from Earth to the space station? (Maybe)

These are just three of the thousands of questions Weizmann Institute scientists ask every day. A new comic series, being released today, looks at some of these questions with a humorous slant. The series, called Nano Comics, follows five characters and their adventures in a research institution that exists in no fixed time or place. The hero of the series is Nano, a ten-year-old boy whose parents have left on a long space voyage. He spends much of his time hanging around the workplace of his grandmother, a cook in the cafeteria of a research institution. His natural curiosity leads Nano off on one scientific exploit after another, taking him to the frontiers of science, close to the outer limits of human knowledge. Accompanying him on his adventures are Femto, a veteran scientist with the soul of a child; Giga, an energetic young scientist whose pursuit of science crosses many different fields; Mega, a postdoctoral fellow who’s a secret time traveler; and Tera, a graphic designer at the institute, who sometimes needs to remind her scientist friends of the simple facts of life.

Each story in the series is based on the real scientific findings of Weizmann Institute scientists, though, of course, that work is presented in the comic with a humorous twist. The stories take place in all sorts of places and travel through time, so that Nano and his friends might meet Native Americans or Chinese in one episode and deal with industrial spies in the next. Each comic also contains a ‘scientific sidebar’ that, in simple language, tells a bit about the science behind the comic.

Nano comics are based on Weizmann Institute publications, and are written by Meir Goldberg. The drawings are the work of the illustrator Yaniv Shimony. The series editor is Yivsam Azgad. Nano Comics will appear in the Weizmann Institute quarterly Hamachon, the biannual Interface, and in other media, as well.

For further information, please contact the Weizmann Institute Publications and Media Relation Department, 972-(0)8-934-3856  /

The Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, is one of the world's top-ranking multidisciplinary research institutions. Noted for its wide-ranging exploration of the natural and exact sciences, the Institute is home to 2,600 scientists, students, technicians and supporting staff. Institute research efforts include the search for new ways of fighting disease and hunger, examining leading questions in mathematics and computer science, probing the physics of matter and the universe, creating novel materials and developing new strategies for protecting the environment.

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