A research team lead by Dr Peixuan Guo from the University of Kentucky (USA) have cracked a 35-year-old mystery about the workings of the natural motors that are serving as models for development of a futuristic genre of synthetic nanomotors that pump therapeutic DNA, RNA or drugs into individual diseased cells.
The importance of nanomotors in nanotechnology is akin to that of mechanical engines to daily life. The AAA+ superfamily is a class of nanomotors performing various functions. Their hexagonal arrangement facilitates bottom-up assembly for stable structures. Bacteriophage phi29 DNA-translocation motor contains three co-axial rings and viral DNA-packaging motor has been believed to be a rotational machine. However, the researchers found a revolution mechanism without rotation. By analogy, the earth revolves around the sun while rotating on its own axis.
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