Order from disorder

Collective motion emerges spontaneously in wiggling protein strands

By Alexandra Witze, 12:58 PM March 27, 2012

Birds and bees do it, and now so do tiny protein strands — spontaneously moving together in the striking patterns known as collective motion.

Japanese researchers attached filaments of protein to a second protein that acts as a biological motor, rotating and driving the filaments to move. The scientists then injected ATP, a molecule that sends energy flowing within a cell; at first, the filaments meandered aimlessly around. But after about a quarter of an hour, they organized themselves int...

Source URL: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/order-disorder