Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Breakthrough Molecular "Motor" Devised By Boston College Biochemists

Date:
September 15, 1999
Source:
Boston College
Summary:
Boston College biochemists have created a 78-atom molecular paddlewheel--one of the world's tiniest motors--which could pave the way for intercellular machines that repair the body from the inside.

CHESTNUT HILL, MA -- Boston College biochemists have created a 78-atom molecular paddlewheel--one of the world's tiniest motors--which could pave the way for intercellular machines that repair the body from the inside.

The microscopic motor, described in the September 9 edition of the scientific journal "Nature," is considered a major breakthrough for scientists seeking to understand the workings of the biological motors--from the muscles to the lungs--that power the human body.

It took Boston College Vanderslice Professor of Chemistry T. Ross Kelly and his associates four years to create the tiny three-bladed rotor engine powered by bio-fuel that has been made to turn 120 degrees.

"This is even slower than the Wright Brothers, but it's proof of the principle that you can make a molecule move in one direction," Kelly said, adding that the goal of continuous rotation remains a way off, but is achievable.

The ramifications for biochemical research promise to be significant.

"Biological systems are full of motors," said Kelly, "from little 'trains' that run inside cells and move nutrients back and forth, to hair-like cilia in the lungs that push out dust particles, to the muscles that make our bodies move. But no one understands how these biological motors work. Our research may help biochemists do so, and may lead to treatments for people whose motors don't work right."

"A molecular motor is the forerunner of a molecular tractor," added said. "I bought some of them hoping they would give me ideas."

Kelly's co-authors on the Nature article are two of his former post-doctoral fellows, Harshani DeSilva and Richard A. Silva. The research is supported by a four-year grant of $850,000 from the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Boston College. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Boston College. "Breakthrough Molecular "Motor" Devised By Boston College Biochemists." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 September 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/09/990915080819.htm>.
Boston College. (1999, September 15). Breakthrough Molecular "Motor" Devised By Boston College Biochemists. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/09/990915080819.htm
Boston College. "Breakthrough Molecular "Motor" Devised By Boston College Biochemists." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/09/990915080819.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Thousands March in NYC Over Climate Change

Thousands March in NYC Over Climate Change

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) — Accompanied by drumbeats, wearing costumes and carrying signs, thousands of demonstrators filled the streets of Manhattan and other cities around the world on Sunday to urge policy makers to take action on climate change. (Sept. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
What This MIT Sensor Could Mean For The Future Of Robotics

What This MIT Sensor Could Mean For The Future Of Robotics

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) — MIT researchers developed a light-based sensor that gives robots 100 times the sensitivity of a human finger, allowing for "unprecedented dexterity." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) — The MIT BioSuit could be an alternative to big, bulky traditional spacesuits, but the concept needs some work. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Music With Recycled Instruments at Colombia Fest

New Music With Recycled Instruments at Colombia Fest

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) — Jars, bottles, caps and even a pizza box, recovered from the trash, were the elements used by four musical groups at the "RSFEST2014 Sonorities Recycling Festival", in Colombian city of Cali. Duration: 00:49 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins