Latest Molecular motor Stories

2009-08-14 10:00:00

Friction is the force that resists the relative motion of two bodies in contact. The same is true on the nanoscale: Molecular motors have to fight the friction created between them and their tracks. However, since the frictional forces acting on such motors had not been measured before, it was not known how they depend on the speed and the direction of motion.Friction Slows Down ProteinsScientists in Dresden at the Biotechnology Center (BIO-TEC) of the Technical University of Dresden and at...

2009-07-21 19:15:00

Cells rely on tiny molecular motors to deliver cargo, such as mRNA and organelles, within the cell. The critical nature of this transport system is evidenced by the fact that disruption of motors by genetic defects leads to fatal diseases in humans. Although investigators have isolated these motor to study their function in a controlled environment outside the cell, it has been difficult for researchers to follow these fascinating molecular transporters in their natural environment, the...

2009-04-02 14:26:44

Chemists at New York University and Harvard University have created a bipedal, autonomous DNA "walker" that can mimic a cell's transportation system. The device, which marks a step toward more complex synthetic molecular motor systems, is described in the most recent issue of the journal Science. For a video demonstration of the walker, go to http://www.nyu.edu/public.affairs/videos/qtime/biped_movie.mov.Two fundamental components of life's building blocks are DNA, which encodes instructions...

2009-02-15 08:33:22

Even within cells, the left hand knows what the right hand is doing. Molecular motors, the little engines that power cell mobility and the ability of cells to transport internal cargo, work together and in close coordination, according to a new finding by researchers at the University of Virginia. The work could have implications for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders. "We found that molecular motors operate in an amazingly coordinated manner when moving an algal cell one way or the...

2009-02-05 14:50:30

An international team of scientists led by the University of Leeds has shed new light on the little-understood motor protein called dynein, thought to be involved in progressive neurological disorders such as motor neurone disease. Researchers from the University's Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology and from the University of Tokyo have for the first time identified key elements of dynein's structure, and the winch-like mechanism by which it moves. The research "“ funded by...

2008-03-19 14:20:00

Max Planck scientists shed light on transport mechanism in cellsLogistics is a key part of life. Nutrition, tools and information constantly have to be transported from one place to another in cells. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces have now discovered how molecular motors transport cargos in cells. Two competing teams of motors pull in opposite directions, like in a tug-of-war contest. The winning team determines the direction of transport after the...

2005-07-30 14:44:08

EVANSTON, Ill. - While the human body has plenty of specialized molecular motors and machines powering the mechanical work necessary for cells to function properly, scientists themselves face many hurdles as they try to create their own molecular machines in the laboratory. The downsides of conventional molecular machines are that they are driven as an ensemble, by external light or chemistry, for example, and they are big -- made up of many molecules. These factors make these machines...

Word of the Day
  • The call or cry of a bird or other animal to its mate or its young.
'Call-note' is newer than 'bird-call,' which originally referred to 'an instrument for imitating the note of birds' but now also refers to 'the song or cry of a bird.'