Microscopic 'clutch' puts flagellum in neutral

Thursday, June 19, 2008 - 20:14 in Biology & Nature

Scientists have learned a tiny molecular clutch disengages the flagellum's tail from the engine that powers its rotation. To see the full image, click the link below. A tiny but powerful engine that propels the bacterium Bacillus subtilis through liquids is disengaged from the corkscrew-like flagellum by a protein clutch, Indiana University Bloomington and Harvard University scientists have learned. Their report appears in this week's Science.

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