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Using entropy to cross barriers

Bacteria routinely need to express a number of proteins on their outer surface. In many cases these long protein chains that are manufactured within the cell are still connected by one end to the bacterial interior but are somehow able to cross the porous cell wall barrier with the other end. In work recently published in Nature MicrobiologyProf. Ajay Gopinathan along with a team of researchers from Stanford University and the university of Washington showed that this could be accomplished purely by exploiting entropic forces with no need for specific motor powered mechanisms. The generality of this newly discovered mechanism means it could be adopted by a wide variety of cellular organisms.