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Creation of ‘Rocker’ protein opens way for new smart molecules in medicine, other fields

Human cells are protected by a largely impenetrable molecular membrane, but researchers have built the first artificial that carries individual atoms across membranes, opening the possibility of engineering a new class of smart molecules with applications in fields as wide ranging as nanotechnology and medicine.

Rocker (blue ribbons and yellow sticks) is an artificially designed protein that transports zinc ions (green) across biological membranes (gray sticks) by binding zinc ions it at one end of the molecule and rearranging (‘rocking’) to pass them onto the other end. The protein was built by researchers from and other institutions.
Image credit: Dartmouth College


Dartmouth College