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Scientists develop the world's smallest single-molecule electric motor


Bigger is certainly not better when it comes to the world's first single-molecule electric engine, which measures in at one nanometer wide -- for perspective, that lash hanging from your left eye is around 60,000 times larger. Single-molecule engines have been used for years, but the new method uses a low-temperature scanning tunneling microscope to power and control the molecule more effectively. In the future, scientists could use the technology for things like lab-on-a-chip devices, miniature medical testing equipment that require a motor to push fluid through tiny pipes. Tufts researchers responsible for the discovery warn that a practical application is still a ways off, but are hopeful that they'll snag a Guinness world record, regardless. After hearing the news, both Pinky and The Brain are feeling entirely more confident about their lifelong goals.

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