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Proteins, so small that one billion would fit on a full stop, carry out most of the vital activities in living cells; they drive chemical reactions, transport cargoes, communicate with the outside world and even segregate chromosomes. A novel approach now allows us to monitor single proteins in complicated molecular machines, and it seems that biological components wear out and get replaced just as they do in man-made machines.

Type

Journal article

Journal

Biologist

Publication Date

01/02/2008

Volume

55

Pages

33 - 39