Saturday, 7 August 2010

A tiny motor that never gets tired

Joel Kontinen

Even when we sleep, our cells do not rest. Recently, reported on a discovery that features a tiny nano motor that produces ATP or adenosine triphosphate.

ATP has a vital task in energy production in cells. We might compare it to petrol (or gas, if you prefer) that a car needs. Our cells need adenosine triphosphate in order to function.

According to Physorg,

ATP synthases are among the most abundant and important proteins in living cells. These rotating nano-machines produce the central chemical form of cellular energy currency, ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which is used to meet the energy needs of cells. For example, human adults synthesize up to 75 kg of ATP each day under resting conditions and need a lot more to keep pace with energy needs during strenuous exercise or work. The turbine of the ATP synthase is the rotor element, called the c-ring. This ring is 63 A in diameter (6.3 nm, or 6.3 millionths of a millimeter) and completes over 500 rotations per second during ATP production.”

The speed is really incredible. The tiny rotor completes 5,000 rotations in the time the world’s fastest man runs 100 metres.

Recently Thomas Meier of Max-Planck Institute and colleagues found out that cells use the water in nano rotors in converting power to a form that it can use more easily.

ATP synthesis speaks clearly of intelligent design. Already the first cell needed it. It can in no way have evolved through random processes.


Cells use water in nano-rotors to power energy conversion. Physorg. com. 3 August 2010.