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Life’s smallest motor, a protein that shuttles cargo within cells and helps cells divide, does so by rocking up and down like a seesaw, according to research conducted by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Brandeis University. The researchers created high-resolution snapshots of a protein motor, called kinesin, as it walked along a microtubule, the tube-shaped structures that form a cell’s “skeleton.” The result is the closest look yet at the structural changes kinesin proteins undergo as they ferry molecules within cells.

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