A Round of Applause for the Gonorrhea-Based Molecular Machine

Gonorrhea isn't just an STD known for causing burning sensations when you pee; it's the strongest organism known to man. Able to pull 100,000 times its body weight, the clap may soon serve a purpose greater than painfully reminding you of nights spent cruising the Red Light District. Scientists hope to use gonorrhea bacteria in nanotech devices because of the strong forces they can exert on nearby objects. In the clip above, gonorrhea is using pili filaments it produces, which are 10 times longer than the bacterium itself, to pull tiny columns.

The process isn't perfect yet; in testing, only one pull in a hundred was able to reach 100,000 times the weight of the bacterium. If the scientists are able to improve the consistency, the days of molecular machines driven by gonorrhea could be near. However, this is still no excuse to spread your VD in the name of science, so take care of that already. [New Scientist via io9, song by Honest Bob and the Factory-to-Dealer Incentives]


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