Molecular Machines

  • David S. Goodsell


Molecules orchestrate the processes of life: complex, diverse molecules with focused functional capabilities. Like the machines of our modern world, these molecules are built to perform specific functions efficiently, accurately, and consistently. Modern cells build hundreds of thousands of different molecular machines, each performing one of the hundreds of thousands of individual tasks in the process of living. These molecular machines are built according to four basic molecular plans. Whereas our macroscopic machines are built of metal, wood, plastic, and ceramic, the microscopic machines in cells are built of protein, nucleic acid, lipid, and polysaccharide. Each plan has a unique chemical personality ideally suited to a different role in the cell.


Lipid Bilayer Phosphoglycerate Kinase Molecular Machine Modern Cell Life Figure 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • David S. Goodsell
    • 1
  1. 1.Molecular Biology InstituteUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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