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C. The Tiny Motors that May Help Drive Cell Division

Narrator: This is Science Today. All living things rely on cell division to thrive and grow but any misstep in this division can result in birth defects, such as Down's syndrome or in disease, such as cancer. Now a team of researchers led by Jonathan Scholey, a cell biologist at the University of California, Davis, have come up with an intricate overview of the tiny motors driving cell reproduction.

Scholey: Our own particular focus is on a group of proteins that are referred to as motor proteins that are essentially like nanoscale motors that use a compound in the cell called ATP as a sort of fuel to generate a force that allows them to move along what are essentially intracellular tracks.

Narrator: Scholey says understanding how these nanometer scale machines generate forces to do things in cells in a regulated fashion is a fascinating intellectual problem.

Scholey: But in addition, it has the potential for yielding information that will be useful in the treatment of diseases.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.