Wear is the progressive loss of material from a body caused by contact and relative movement and is a major concern in both engineering and biology. Advances in nanotechnology have allowed the origins of wear processes to be studied at the atomic and molecular scale, but also demand that wear in nanoscale systems can be predicted and controlled. Here, we show that wear also occurs in an in vitro system consisting of microtubules gliding across a surface coated with kinesin-1 motor proteins, and that energetic considerations suggest a molecule-bymolecule removal of tubulin proteins.
Should inventors control the fate of their own inventions? In the US, most universities think not. But, as Emmanuel Dumont explains, the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute at Cornell Tech in New York City bets otherwise.