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      Nanonetworks: A new communication paradigm

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      Computer Networks

      Elsevier BV

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          A molecular information ratchet.

          Motor proteins and other biological machines are highly efficient at converting energy into directed motion and driving chemical systems away from thermodynamic equilibrium. But even though these biological structures have inspired the design of many molecules that mimic aspects of their behaviour, artificial nanomachine systems operate almost exclusively by moving towards thermodynamic equilibrium, not away from it. Here we show that information about the location of a macrocycle in a rotaxane-a molecular ring threaded onto a molecular axle-can be used, on the input of light energy, to alter the kinetics of the shuttling of the macrocycle between two compartments on the axle. For an ensemble of such molecular machines, the macrocycle distribution is directionally driven away from its equilibrium value without ever changing the relative binding affinities of the ring for the different parts of the axle. The selective transport of particles between two compartments by brownian motion in this way bears similarities to the hypothetical task performed without an energy input by a 'demon' in Maxwell's famous thought experiment. Our observations demonstrate that synthetic molecular machines can operate by an information ratchet mechanism, in which knowledge of a particle's position is used to control its transport away from equilibrium.
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            Mechanical processes in biochemistry.

            Mechanical processes are involved in nearly every facet of the cell cycle. Mechanical forces are generated in the cell during processes as diverse as chromosomal segregation, replication, transcription, translation, translocation of proteins across membranes, cell locomotion, and catalyzed protein and nucleic acid folding and unfolding, among others. Because force is a product of all these reactions, biochemists are beginning to directly apply external forces to these processes to alter the extent or even the fate of these reactions hoping to reveal their underlying molecular mechanisms. This review provides the conceptual framework to understand the role of mechanical force in biochemistry.
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              A molecular elevator.

              We report the incrementally staged design, synthesis, characterization, and operation of a molecular machine that behaves like a nanoscale elevator. The operation of this device, which is made of a platformlike component interlocked with a trifurcated riglike component and is only 3.5 nanometers by 2.5 nanometers in size, relies on the integration of several structural and functional molecular subunits. This molecular elevator is considerably more complex and better organized than previously reported artificial molecular machines. It exhibits a clear-cut on-off reversible behavior, and it could develop forces up to around 200 piconewtons.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Computer Networks
                Computer Networks
                Elsevier BV
                13891286
                August 2008
                August 2008
                : 52
                : 12
                : 2260-2279
                Article
                10.1016/j.comnet.2008.04.001
                © 2008

                http://www.elsevier.com/tdm/userlicense/1.0/

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