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Smallest propeller on Earth powers fastest life form?


Not a life form we might have expected either.

As usual, design in nature was there ahead of us. Specifically, in the Archaea, discovered by Carl Woese (1928–2012):

Some archaea propel themselves to incredible speeds by rotating a spiral-shaped filament called an archaellum. Using a powerful cryo-electron microscope, the new study examined this closer than ever before.

The research team – which included the University of Regensburg – focussed on Methanocaldococcus villosus, a species found near underwater volcanoes off Iceland, where water temperatures can reach about 80°C.

“M. villosus swims at a speed of about 500 body lengths per second,” said Dr. Lavinia Gambelli, of Exeter’s Living Systems Institute (LSI).

“Considering that the tiny cell is only about one micrometer in size, this means half a millimeter in one second.

“At first glance, this does not seem much. But in comparison, a cheetah achieves only 20 body lengths per second – so if an M. villosus cell had the size of a cheetah, it would swim at approximately 3,000 kilometers per hour.

“The incredible speed that M. villosus can achieve makes it one of the fastest organisms on the planet.”

University of Exeter, “Biologists Investigate Smallest Propeller on Earth – Used by One of the Fastest Organisms on the Planet” at SciTech Daily (February 12, 2022)

You may also wish to read: Carl Woese, Discoverer Of A Whole Domain Of Life, Regretted Not Overthrowing Darwin

1:15 in the video:
archaea these can be quite long longer than bacterial flagella and some cells are known to have more than 70 of these are kala so the two domains of prokaryotic cells share flagella in some members but these are not similar in structure in the proteins which form them and must have evolved separately these are also then distinct from the flagella found in eukaryotes which are composed of a specific arrangement of tubulin wrapped in cell membrane and are also not homologous to either of these bacterial flagella
Silver Asiatic
Never underestimate the dismissal of one of the black knights of the quest of the Holy Grail. "Tis' just a flesh wound" "I've had worse" zweston
Another irrelevant contribution from Seversky. Irrelevant, but not pointless; a distraction as noted in the Distractors Encyclopaedia under the shiny Thing Over There entry. Belfast
That's impressive until you remember we're moving at 1.3 million mph without even lifting a finger Seversky
Skimming the article, the internal structure is astonishing. Each cell has left and right handed screws to balance the torque so the cell itself doesn't rotate. Among the screws of each direction, there's a variety of 'pitches' and a variety of pitch changes from start to finish, to avoid setting up a resonance that would shake the cell. Nature thinks of EVERYTHING. polistra

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