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Biotech Robotics Science

Molecular Robot Mimics Life's Protein-Builder 53

ananyo writes "The ribosome, the molecular machine that translates our genetic code to build the body's proteins, is a mechanical marvel. Now, chemists have invented a nanomachine that can achieve a similar feat. The artificial system is not about to displace nature's ribosome, a complex of proteins and RNA. It is much simpler, and only about about one-tenth of the size — and, it is achingly slow, destroys the code it reads and can produce only very short chunks of protein, known as peptides. It does, however, show that some of the tactics of biology's molecular machines can be adopted to make useful chemicals. The device relies on a rotaxane — a large molecular ring threaded onto another molecule that acts as an axle (abstract). The axle is lined with three amino acids, and a chain of three more amino acids hangs from the outer edge of the ring. Heating the device prompts the ring to move along the axle, adding amino acids one-by-one to the chain attached to the ring."
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Molecular Robot Mimics Life's Protein-Builder

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  • by bmo ( 77928 ) on Friday January 11, 2013 @02:45PM (#42560235)

    >Bringing the word 'apes' into any discussion about the development of life is sure to aggravate certain groups.

    Good. Let them be mad. Let them rail against reality.

    It's high time we stopped walking on eggs about this issue. There is this fallacy that each person's opinion about the universe is just as valid as another's. As if we have to be polite about them like we have to be polite about the pictures of their kids.

    No. No we don't.

    If you believe the universe was created in 4004 BC at 9am, you are a nut. There are no qualifiers to go with that. Not "you might be a nut" or "some people would disagree with you." No. You're a full-blown nutcase.

    And yes, we are apes. Big naked apes. Deal with it.


The human mind ordinarily operates at only ten percent of its capacity -- the rest is overhead for the operating system.