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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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Video: This Molecule Doesn't Horse Around
14 September 2010 5:26 pm
Molecules are nothing like horses. But if they were, they'd be a bit smarter, because they would have figured out that trotting is a colossal waste of energy. Researchers placed four different carbon-ring molecules with oxygen atoms for "legs" on a copper surface. Heat exchange propelled them forward. Two-legged molecules moved roughly the way humans walk: one leg after the other. The four-legged ones walked in much the same way, moving first the atoms on one side, then the atoms on the other—a gait known as pacing. They never trotted like a horse does. That's because, according to simulations the team reports online this month in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, moving diagonally opposite legs at the same time distorts the molecule—and thus requires much more energy than pacing. But even pacing has disadvantages: The team found that two-legged molecules were much better at moving through obstacles than were four-legged ones.
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