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The Tally Ho

Monday, October 24, 2005



Scientists at Rice University have built molecular vehicles so small that more than 20,000 of them could sit side-by-side on a human hair.

The fleet consists of nanocars, nanotrucks capable of carrying small-molecule payloads, and trimers that pivot on their three axes. All of them roll on buckyballs, which are 60-atom, soccer-ball-shaped spheres of pure carbon. Each axis pivots up and down independently to allow the vehicles to negotiation atomic potholes and mounds.

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