Biological machines: from mills to molecules

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2000 Nov;1(2):149-53. doi: 10.1038/35040097.


Although scientific progress is usually represented as being linear, it may, in fact, have a cyclical character--some discoveries may be forgotten or lost (at least temporarily), and themes may reappear through the centuries. Consider, for example, the concept of 'molecular machines', from the exciting phase of research that flourished in the seventeenth century, to the idea of machines that is at centre stage in modern cell biology.

Publication types

  • Biography
  • Historical Article
  • Portrait
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biology / history*
  • Biology / trends
  • Germany
  • History, 16th Century
  • History, 18th Century
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • Italy
  • Models, Biological*
  • Molecular Biology / trends*
  • Proton-Translocating ATPases / chemistry
  • Proton-Translocating ATPases / metabolism


  • Proton-Translocating ATPases

Personal name as subject

  • M Malpighi
  • A von Haller