Friction in Motor Proteins

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Science  14 Aug 2009:
Vol. 325, Issue 5942, pp. 826-827
DOI: 10.1126/science.1178017

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What do a violin bow and a motor protein have in common? They both need stick-slip friction to function. On page 870 of this issue, Bormuth et al. (1) explore just how much friction is involved in the motion of a kinesin motor when it moves along its microtubule track, and how this friction is related to the spontaneous diffusive motion of this motor when it has run out of its fuel.