Nano, nano; we’re hearing that morkish prefix a lot these days. It means 10-9 of something: most often, of meters (see powers of ten). A nanometer is a billionth of a meter. This gets down into the range of protein molecules and small cellular components. A DNA molecule, for instance, is about 20 nanometers across; an ATP synthase rotary motor is about 8 x 12 nanometers, and a bacterial flagellum about 10 times larger. Now that imaging technology is reaching into realms of just a few nanometers, scientists are keen to understand nature’s engineering in hopes of doing their own. The premiere issue of Nature Nanotechnology made its debut this month.1 It contains a centerpiece review article by Wesley R. Browne and Ben L. Feringa entitled, “Making molecular machines work.”2 Though the article focuses on human progress and potential in the world of nanotechnology, it contains numerous ecstasies about biological machines unmade by human hands:Consider a world composed of nanometre-sized factories and self-repairing molecular machines where complex and responsive processes operate under exquisite control; where translational and rotational movement is directed with precision; a nano-world fuelled by chemical and light energy. What images come to mind? The fantastical universes described in the science fiction of Asimov and his contemporaries? To a scientist, perhaps the ‘simple’ cell springs more easily to mind with its intricate arrangement of organelles and enzymatic systems fuelled by solar energy (as in photosynthetic systems) or by the chemical energy stored in the molecular bonds of nucleotide triphosphates (for example, ATP).Biological motors convert chemical energy to effect stepwise linear or rotary motion, and are essential in controlling and performing a wide variety of biological functions. Linear motor proteins are central to many biological processes including muscle contraction, intracellular transport and signal transduction, and ATP synthase, a genuine molecular rotary motor, is involved in the synthesis and hydrolysis of ATP. Other fascinating examples include membrane translocation proteins, the flagella motor that enables bacterial movement and proteins that can entrap and release guests through chemomechanical motion.Whereas nature is capable of maintaining and repairing damaged molecular systems, such complex repair mechanisms are beyond the capabilities of current nanotechnology.In designing motors at the molecular level, random thermal brownian motion must therefore be taken into consideration. Indeed, nature uses the concept of the brownian ratchet to excellent effect in the action of linear and rotary protein motors. In contrast to ordinary motors, in which energy input induces motion, biological motors use energy to restrain brownian motion selectively. In a brownian ratchet system the random-molecular-level motion is harnessed to achieve net directional movement, and crucially the resulting biased change in the system is not reversed but progresses in a linear or rotary fashion.Biosystems frequently rely on ATP as their energy source, however very few examples of artificial motors that use exothermic chemical reactions to power unidirectional rotary motion have been reported to date.That biological motors perform work and are engaged in well-defined mechanical tasks such as muscle contraction or the transport of objects is apparent in all living systems.It is clear that the biological machines are inspiring the human drive toward exploiting the possibilities of mimicking, if not duplicating, what already exists in nature. They say in conclusion,The exquisite solutions nature has found to control molecular motion, evident in the fascinating biological linear and rotary motors, has served as a major source of inspiration for scientists to conceptualize, design and build – using a bottom-up approach – entirely synthetic molecular machines. The desire, ultimately, to construct and control molecular machines, fuels one of the great endeavours of contemporary science….….As complexity increases in these dynamic nanosystems, mastery of structure, function and communication across the traditional scientific boundaries will prove essential and indeed will serve to stimulate many areas of the synthetic, analytical and physical sciences. In view of the wide range of functions that biological motors play in nature and the role that macroscopic motors and machines play in daily life, the current limitation to the development and application of synthetic molecular machines and motors is perhaps only the imagination of the nanomotorists themselves.1Nature Nanotechnology, Vol. 1, No. 1, October 2006.2Wesley R. Browne and Ben L. Feringa, “Making molecular machines work,” Nature Nanotechnology, 1, pp25-35 (2006), doi:10.1038/nnano.2006.45.These superlatives call for an explanation: how did nature achieve this level of technology, a level our best scientists can only view with awe as they attempt to catch up, using their brightest intelligence applied to design? Here is the simplistic, hand-waving explanation. In what should have been a paper permeated with unadulterated intelligent design, both human and biological, they slipped into the old Darwinian bad habit. Get ready with your baloney breathalyzer.Understanding and harnessing such phenomenal biological systems provides a strong incentive to design active nanostructures that can operate as molecular machines, and although our current efforts to control motion at the molecular level may appear awkward compared with these natural systems, it should not be forgotten that nature has had a 4.5 billion year head start.This is bad breath caused by Dar-wine. No matter the object under consideration, from a nanoscopic rotary motor with near perfect efficiency to a narwhal’s antenna or a butterfly’s photonic crystals, Darwin-drunk researchers continue to ascribe these wonders to blind, aimless, materialistic processes. If nature’s advantage were merely a head start, then Nature Nanotechnology would do better to tell its researchers to close their labs, put on blindfolds, and wander aimlessly about, bumping into each other, till something interesting happens. As we wag our heads at the inebriation of scientists believing such things, let’s not forget what they said about biological machines. Those machines really do exist. They’re keeping you functioning. They’re enabling your brain to think. So think. Don’t try to drink and think, lest your breath stink and your common sense shrink.(Visited 221 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Chief Minister and Biju Janata Dal president Naveen Patnaik on Thursday campaigned for party nominee Rita Sahu in the Bijepur Assembly seat in western Odisha where bypoll is scheduled to be held on October 21. Hundreds of supporters stood along the roads when Mr. Patnaik undertook a roadshow and addressed people at several locations urging them to vote for Ms. Sahu for the all-round development of their constituency. Many senior party leaders were also present. Overnight stayMr. Patnaik is scheduled to stay overnight and campaign in different areas on Friday. Ms. Sahu had won from Bijepur as a BJD candidate when a bypoll was held in the constituency in 2018 following the death of her husband and then Congress MLA Subal Sahu. As campaigning will come to end on Saturday evening, other major contenders for the seat – Sanat Gartia of the Bharatiya Janata Party and Dillip Kumar Panda of Congress – have also intensified campaign in the constituency. Many senior leaders of the BJD, the BJP and the Congress have been camping in Bijepur to canvass for votes in favour of their respective candidates. Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who campaigned in the constituency a few days ago, is scheduled to campaign again to seek votes in favour of Mr. Gartia on Friday. The bypoll was necessitated after Mr. Patnaik, who had won from both Bijepur and Hinjili constituencies, vacated the Bijepur seat.
“I hear that a lot,” she says. “But I also hear people saying I’m a lot better than her.”There’s no ground for comparison, to say the least. Daquis, with her all-heart brand of play, media savvy and pretty face, has helped make local volleyball gain the level of popularity it has never enjoyed before.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSoutheast Asian dominanceBut it was Barina-Rojas, a 5-foot-8 open spiker from Cebu, who laid down the foundation for the country’s dominance in Southeast Asia during her 14-year stint as a national player. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ MOST READ 1 dead in Cavite blast, fire World’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garage She won four gold medals in the Southeast Asian Games when the Philippines battled Indonesia, not world-ranked Thailand, for dominance in the sport in the region. She helped the country win the gold medal in the 1981, 1985, 1987 and 1993 editions of the Games.Barina-Rojas took the Most Valuable Player and Best Open Spiker awards in the 1987 SEA Games, and was Best Service Receiver in the 1991 edition.Gold-medal droughtIt’s interesting to note that after the 1993 SEA Games, the Philippines has never won a gold medal again in the biennial competition.Barina-Rojas, now 56, embraced the sport when she took up accounting at Southwestern University in Cebu City.ADVERTISEMENT Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Cayetano to unmask people behind ‘smear campaign’ vs him, SEA Games Thelma Barina in her heyday.Some volleyball fans, those who are just experiencing the local sport’s “second coming,” are too quick to call her the Rachel Anne Daquis of her generation.For the record, Thelma Barina-Rojas doesn’t mind being compared to the new face of Philippine volleyball.ADVERTISEMENT Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken LATEST STORIES What ‘missteps’? Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ She sharpened her all-around volleyball skills enough to land her a spot in the national team as its “captain ball” for many years.“I’m happy with what I see now in Philippine volleyball,” says Barina-Rojas, now a PE teacher at Makati Gospel School and head coach of its volleyball squad. “I’m very positive that we can bring back our glory days in the sport.”According to her, one of the national team’s biggest advantages now is its height.“We have many tall players now who are talented and very smart on the court,” says Barina-Rojas, who married volleyball referee Rodrigo “Buboy” Rojas and bore him three children, namely, Rossinni Tracey, Rodd Tyron and Ross Therese.She says she always watches games, especially those in the UAAP and NCAA, on TV and follows the sport and how it has progressed from being just a niche sport into a full-blown mainstream spectacle that it is today.“Back then (in the national team) we treated each other like real sisters,” says Barina-Rojas. “I guess that’s something no coach can easily teach his players.”She says that kind of relationship among teammates was the key to the country’s volleyball success back then. “We would signal each other (about our intended play) with our eyes and body language,” she recalls.During those years, especially before the SEA Games, the national team would hold training camps in Japan to strengthen the squad’s chemistry.“That’s how we learned about Japanese techniques,” she says. “During the training camps we matured as players and as a team. That’s what we need now if we want to become strong in the sport again.”And that’s coming from somebody who has “been there, done that.” Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. In the know View comments
A coroner declined to perform an autopsy on one of the victims of an Ontario nurse who killed elderly patients in her care despite the recommendations of other health professionals, a public inquiry heard Monday.Elizabeth Wettlaufer, 51, has confessed to murdering eight patients, and attempting to kill several more, for nearly a decade by injecting them with overdoses of insulin at long-term care homes and private residences across Ontario.The public inquiry into her actions began its third week Monday with testimony from a nurse who works at Caressant Care, in Woodstock, Ont., where Wettlaufer killed seven residents.Laura Long testified that staff at the home were confused when 79-year-old resident Maureen Pickering died in March 2014. Pickering had Alzheimer’s, Long said, but was physically active and could walk around. Then, just days before her death, her blood sugar plummeted.Caressant nurse Karen Routledge told the inquiry last week that Pickering was taken to hospital, where a doctor who could not determine the cause of her extremely low blood sugar, suggested an autopsy be conducted if Pickering died.Routledge called the coroner’s office when Pickering died and was told they “did not feel this was a coroner’s case,” she testified.Deaths must be sudden or unexpected to warrant an autopsy, and coroners have told Caressant staff that no death in a care home is unexpected, Long told the inquiry on Monday.“We can’t tell the (coroners) what to do,” she said. “We can suggest things, but we can’t tell them what to do. We have to go with what they say.”Wettlaufer’s confession has taken a toll on staff at Caressant, where seven of the victims lived, Long said.“It’s been tough, it’s hard on everybody,” she said. “The snide remarks we hear in public when we are out there. What do you do?”Long said she was especially close to one of Wettlaufer’s victims — Gladys Millard, 87.“Oh my gosh… Gladie Millard’s family were like my family,” the longtime nurse added. “I looked after her parents, her aunt. Gladie was so much fun.”Long said she wrote Wettlaufer up several times for unprofessional, sloppy behaviour.“She was messy in her work and didn’t complete things — I want to call it just plain laziness,” Long said.Wettlaufer made other staff uncomfortable by “carrying on” about her romantic relationships and being disowned by her family, but at times she was also very generous, Long said.“Seniors they always like to see pets so she would bring in her dog, she’d bring in food, she’d sit with the residents, and this was on her own time,” Long said.Wettlaufer organized a baby shower for a couple on staff who didn’t have any family living in Canada.“She was a Sunday school teacher at one time and she took all the kids to Canada’s Wonderland (amusement park) one time and paid for everything because the parents couldn’t afford it,” Long said.In April 2013, however, Long overheard Wettlaufer taunting an elderly man at Caressant who had complained about a fellow resident’s disruptive behaviour.“She was being sarcastic and mean,” Long told the inquiry.Wettlaufer asked the man mockingly whether he needed a psychiatric assessment or a shot of a drug used as a chemical restraint, Long testified.Long provided management with a written account of the incident, but said she was not in a position to know whether Caressant followed up with Wettlaufer about it.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called a news conference in Ottawa to discuss the SNC-Lavalin affair.This follows the testimony given by Gerald Butts, Trudeau’s former advisor, Michael Wernick, Clerk of the Privy Council and Nathalie Drouin, deputy minister of Justice and deputy Attorney General.Join the conversation live on Facebook.