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Friday, October 7, 2016

Molecular machine as the carrier of new hope for humanity

It is appropriate if the Nobel Prize 2016 in Chemistry was awarded to three scientists who laid the foundation for creating the world's smallest machine, a machine that sized thousands of times thinner than a human hair. And from those smallest machines now allow Germany to make anti-cancer compounds combretastatin A-4 that claimed can cure cancer without harming healthy cells.
The three recievers of Nobel Prize 2016 in Chemistry, (left-to-right) Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Sir J. Fraser Stoddart, dan Bernard L. Feringa. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1ecXQ6)
They are Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Sir J. Fraser Stoddart, and Bernard L. Feringa who have acted to trigger the manufacturing of molecular level machines. Sauvage, 71, is professor emeritus at the University of Strasbourg and director of research emeritus at France’s National Center for Scientific Research.  Stoddart, 74, a Scottish-born professor at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, who became a U.S. citizen in 2011. Feringa, 65, is a professor of organic chemistry at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands.

Actually, these nanoscale machine actually been envisioned since the 1950s. And according to Richard Feynman, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist, said that such a machine will bring a bright future. The machines are realized through elaborate research stage, take at least 30 years to actually can be applied.
The Royal Academy of Sciences members, from left to right, Professor Sara Snogerup Linse, Professor Goran K Hansson and Professor Olof Ramstrom present the 2016 Nobel Chemistry Prize at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, in Stockholm, Sweden, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016. Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Fraser Stoddart and Bernard Feringa have been awarded the Nobel chemistry prize. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1ecYih)
Sauvage who started with a valuable innovation in 1983. In that time, he made two molecular rings that can be manipulated easily. Then he modified the rings so they can encircle each other.

Then, in 1991, Stoddart invented the molecular wheels. The wheels can rotate with a certain axis, and powered by collisions of molecules in the vicinity. Moreover, these wheels were able to keep the information.

Followed by Feringa then successfully made molecular motors in 1999. These innovation to enhance the two previous scientists innovations to realizing the molecular machines.

Of the aforementioned innovations, which then allows for the creation of a kind of nanocar that can move on the microscopic tracks by carrying certain cargo.
A molecular 'nanocar' travels across a metal surface, propelled by bonding changes. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1ecZFn)
According to Sara Snogerup Linse, a member of the Nobel committee who said that the creation of the smallest engine in the world is full of challenges. The scientists should be able to create the molecules with the bonds that easily manipulated.

"Another challenge is the molecule that has a tendency to reach equilibrium. Thus, it is very difficult to create a movement of molecules in a certain direction," she said as quoted by the Washington Post on Wednesday, October 5, 2016.

The discovery of these molecular motors was same as revolutionary with the invention of the electric motor in 1830, which then triggers a variety of innovations, such as trains, planes up to washing machines.

Feringa said that he was surprised be one of the three receivers of Nobel Prize in Chemistry. "I feel like the Wright Brothers who flew for the first time 100 years ago. People say, why do we need a plane? Now we are in the Boeing 747 and Airbus," he said.

Feringa also revealed that the smallest engine in the world opens many possible applications. At the same time, it must be ensured that these innovations were treated well, and aiming for humanity. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | WASHINGTON POST]
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