Scientists have created a single, tiny molecule that could transform biology and make the world a little bit easier on the body.
The work could eventually make the human body more efficient, more flexible and more powerful.
But first, it will need to be tested in human clinical trials, and the new molecule was designed by researchers from Harvard and MIT.
“What’s amazing is that this molecule is so small,” said co-lead author John O’Connor, a professor of chemical engineering at Harvard and director of MIT’s Center for Functional Nanotechnology.
“It’s not that this is a really exciting molecule.
But it’s really interesting.”
To make it, the researchers used a simple way of building molecules: a single electron, which is not a big part of nature.
In the new compound, a single hydrogen atom called a positron forms an atomic bond with the electron.
The positron’s electrons are pushed out of the atom, and they are joined by the electron’s protons.
These protons make the molecule’s hydrogen atoms superconductive.
They don’t have enough energy to interact with the electrons.
But the hydrogen atoms, which are more easily accessible to electrons, hold onto the protons and keep them in place.
The molecule is then superconducting, which makes it easier for electrons to pass through it.
The result is that the molecule doesn’t have to be superconductant.
The researchers have tested this new molecule in human trials in mice and rats.
The molecules could help people with Parkinson’s disease, as well as patients with certain kinds of cancers, heart disease, and some forms of diabetes.
The scientists said the new compounds are a step towards using superconductivity to improve things like power generation and power transmission in the body, but it still needs to be proven in human testing.
It also needs to work in a wider range of materials.
“There are a lot of molecules out there that are very good at some of the functions that we’ve been interested in for a long time, but we haven’t really been able to find a way to make them more complex or more powerful,” O’ Connor said.
“We’re going to have to find new ways to make these molecules more useful in the future.”
The new molecule’s structure was inspired by the way that hydrogen atoms form protons in nature, said co‑lead author David V. Riedel, a chemistry professor at MIT.
Scientists have been looking for a way for protons to form in materials to make the molecules superconduct.
In that process, electrons are pulled from the molecule, and superconductors form.
However, these materials tend to be unstable, and a single unstable protons can cause problems.
O’ and V.R. thought it might be possible to build a molecule that has a new way of making superconductents, and it is called a “bonding electron.”
Bonding electrons form when two different electrons are trapped in a molecule.
This prevents two electrons from being joined to one another, but this process is not stable.
The two protons that are not linked by a bond are free to move freely through the molecule.
Because the molecules are unstable, it is hard to use these materials in a large variety of applications.
In a recent study, the MIT team showed that it could be possible for a single bonding electron to form two protos on a single atom of a compound called 2-bromo-4-nitrobenzene.
The bonding electrons can then be switched off and the two molecules become superconducted.
They are called “bonded electrons.”
This new molecule can bond with protons for the first time.
The team then made a molecule with two bonded electrons that were also superconductable.
It’s not yet clear how the new superconduction will work, but the new material is still very promising, said Riedl.
“The main thing that we really want to do is find a good way to put these molecules together,” he said.
He said he expects to see the new system used in clinical trials next year.
It could also be used to help control cancer cells.
“You can do things like keep cancer cells from metastasizing by making them more stable, or by controlling the amount of energy they’re getting from the environment,” he told the New Scientist.
The findings are reported online today (Aug. 19) in Nature Communications.