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Federal Research Center 
"Krasnoyarsk Science Center of the Siberian
Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences"

 Федеральный исследовательский центр «Красноярский научный центр Сибирского отделения Российской академии наук»

Federal Research Center 
"Krasnoyarsk Science Center of the Siberian
Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences"

Scientist of the Krasnoyarsk Science Center of SB RAS is the winner of the competition of popular science articles

14 May 2021 г.

Ученый Красноярского научного центра СО РАН победил в конкурсе научно-популярных статей
The competition of popular scientific articles on modern biology is annually held by the online news agency "Biomolecule". This year in the nomination "My own work" the prize was given to the article "Non-canonical DNA" by a researcher of the Institute of Biophysics of the Federal Research Center "KSC SB RAS", Candidate of Biological Sciences, Denis Semenov, co-authored with Yuri Nechiporenko, Doctor of Physical and Mathematical Sciences. The authors describe the mechanochemical cleavage of DNA using ultrasound.

Denis Semenov tells why he decided to participate in the competition and why it is important to be involved in science popularization.

- Why to participate in the competition? Because I would like other people in Russia, especially students to know what we managed to understand and discover. Unfortunately, good university textbooks on molecular biology and biophysics are not being published now. Nobody writes good Russian textbooks, and foreign ones will be translated with a big delay and these foreign textbooks are not certain to be well presented by teachers. I like the site "Biomolecule" because it is aimed at actively working scientific youth. It makes it possible to reach out to a large audience of intelligent students and teachers. This article has already helped me several times. Now we are creating several scientific teams, and for review I give a link to my popular science article for people to get acquainted with it.

I think we won because of the style. This is important when writing popular science texts. I wrote my text in a very funny manner with jokes and provocations. I used two classical texts as the basis: D.B.S. Haldane's book “How to Write a Popular Science Article” and Erwin Chargaff's one “Beliberdin Pandemonium”. I tried to keep their style and, probably, it played a role.

On the other hand, I believe that we have indeed made a fundamental discovery. We have discovered a phenomenon that helps redefine the most basic concepts of the molecular structure of DNA. In biology, it is rarely possible to do something which is so close to fundamental science that everyone who reads it understands that it is possible to make developments based on this in several directions at once. Thus, we presented an important scientific result in an interesting and entertaining way. I believe that it will be useful for many to know about this. Popularization aimed at students can turn some of them towards science and help them realize their potential. It's like enriching uranium. I believe that if such talented people are concentrated, then further they themselves will begin to produce something meaningful.