It’s not the first single-molecule nano-motor, but it’s the first one to be driven by electricity: a Tufts research team has demonstrated that you can “provide electricity to a single molecule and get it to do something that’s not just random” (as team leader Charles Sykes put it). Previous single-molecule nano-motors have been …
Now that's cool
And not just because it was done at 5 K.
re. free limitless energy
You should patent that idea.
Those orange things are basketballs, Right?
Just trying to get a sense of scale.
Required, I understand
No, they're oranges.
Someone coloured the grapes in wrongly, right?
What is it useful for? Making super-small electric vehicles? Can they be four-wheel drive?
I for one, overlords etc... :)
What *could* it be used for that you might like.
The ones reverse engineered from the mechanism that drives bacterial flagellum and sperm tails about 12 years ago could generate enough thrust to form the basis of a airborne skateboard.
Provided you had a ready supply of ATP, a large supply of them (feasible with engineered bacteria), a framework for them to mount to and (*most* important) a viable control system so if you fell of it would shoot along hit it hit someone.
This new research suggests you could make it electrically powered.
Too bad batteries have such poor P/W ratios.
For more mundane uses how about *truly* water and dirt repellent fabrics. Every water droplet passed along from collar to hem before being dropped on the ground.
RE: What *could* it be used for that you might like
1. Borg nano probes
2. Build the world's tiniest open source violin. http://xkcd.com/743/
Even as it stands now, it would out-perform a G-Wiz