BSC-1005 Chapter Notes - Chapter 4: Brownian Motion, Molecular Motor, Fuel

Biological Science
Course Code
G.Bates, G.Erickson, S.Lenhert, C.Schultz, H.Tang, C.Schultz

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BSC1005- SB
Florida State University
Textbook Chapter 4 Notes
Chapter 4:
Biomolecular Machines
Biomolecular Machines
Flagellar motor
Motor is embedded within the cell membranes of microorganisms, where
serves the same purpose of a regular motor on a boat.
Motor consists of twenty different protein parts which self-assemble into
two different lipid membranes.
DNA contains information much as a computer hard drive does, and
ribonucleic acid (RNA) is comparable to the function of random access
memory and other functions comparable to that of a modern computer.
Macroscopic engineering
Biological machines have parts so small that they operate at kinetic energies
below the thermal energy of the environment.
Brownian Motion: thermally-driven movement at the molecular level caused
by bombardment from neighboring atoms and molecules.
Molecular fuel used to drive biomolecular machines is not used to
generate directed kinetic energy like for macroscopic machines, but rather
to direct thermal energy in a useful way.
Molecular energy
Generally speaking, standard chemical fuel for biological function is the
molecule adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which reacts with water to produce
adenosine diphosphate (ADP) and useable energy.
Two major differences between biological use of ATP fuel and synthetic use
of gasoline are that:
The conversion of ATP to ADP occurs on a single molecule level to drive
molecular machines.
ADP can be readily converted back into energy containing ATP by
biological systems.
Organelles like mitochondria and chloroplasts synthesize and recycle ATP.
Mitochondria exists in animals and eukaryotic cells (cells with a nucleus),
and use sugar as a chemical fuel for ATP synthesis.
Chloroplasts exist in photosynthetic organisms such as plants and use the
energy from sunlight to convert ADP to ATP.
Inner membrane of both mitochondria and chloroplasts contain molecular
Linear motor
An example of such is the microtubule/kinesin system. Kinesin is a protein
that has the task of transporting materials to various locations inside a cell.
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