Professor Ron Naaman from the Weizmann Institute in Israel and scientists in Germany discovered that biological molecules in DNA can detect spin states in atoms. The researchers fabricated self-assembling, single layers of DNA attached to a gold substrate. The DNA was exposed to electrons - and the DNA molecules reacted strongly with electrons at one spin, and hardly at all with electrons with a different spin.

Naaman says that it turns out that DNA is a great 'spin filter' - and this could have applications in both biomedical research and spintronics.