Kinesin molecules have two extensions, or legs, at one end and a tail at the other end. The legs attach to a microtubule molecule, and step to move the kinesin bipedal molecule forward along the microtubule.

The tail grabs cell structures like vesicles and mitochondria to transport the structures over a cell’s extensive network of microtubules.

Several research teams have built DNA walkers, inspired by kinesin, that move along DNA tracks.

Researchers from Duke University and the University of Oxford in England have devised a series of DNA stations that pass a DNA fragment from one to the next. The walker works autonomously, using enzymes present in the environment to initiate each step of the process.

California Institute of Technology researchers have built a bipedal DNA walker that improves the gate of a walker originally designed by researchers at New York University from shuffling, with one leg always in back of the other, to leg-over-leg walking.

DNA walkers could eventually be used to construct nanoscale devices, synthesize and deliver drugs, and carry out DNA computation.

More here.