"The mind is a compact, multiply connected thought mass with internal connections of the most intimate kind. It grows continuously as new thought masses enter it, and this is the means by which it continues to develop."

Bernhard Riemann On Psychology and Metaphysics ca. 1860

Today's Elites

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Nobody Here But Us Crackpots

"Crackpot 'Theory of Everything' Reveals Dark Side of Peer Review"
"A "theory of everything" from a scientist at Case Western Reserve University got a lot of attention for positing that inanimate objects, from planets and water to strands of DNA, are alive. Not only is the assertion bunk, but the scientific and media phenomena surrounding the study reveals how sometimes crackpot ideas can get traction."
These days it's hard to tell the crackpots without a scorecard. How about a multiverse in which an almost infinite number of parallel universes coexist? This is acceptable physics establishment non-crackpot string theory dogma...Sorry for having so little regard for the published "referees" on what constitutes "peer review." It's very hard to see much difference in acceptable crackpottery or the unacceptable. Perhaps though my mind has imperceptibly drifted into another multiverse and I have lost all perspective...

Monday, January 30, 2012

Michelle Obama, Agent Provocateur? Oh My...

Did Barack perhaps have his wife Michelle in mind when he recently opined thusly: "Nobody envies rich people, everybody wants to be rich. Everybody aspires to be rich, and everybody understands you've got work hard to be successful. That's the American way."

I can only marvel, once again, at the prescience of these Beatles' lyrics:

"Everywhere there's lots of piggies
Living piggy lives
You can see them out for dinner
With their piggy wives
Clutching forks and knives to eat their bacon."

Another Modest Proposal For Misbehaving Physicists

Sure, I have a suggestion. Since I am certain that this whole braneworld "hypothesis" is pure fantasy, I think it would be helpful for the researchers to smoke some peyote until they can visualize the "little green men" of their braneworld delusion with no other meta-materials required.

Artificial Braneworlds Made to Collide In Lab

Physicists have simulated two universes colliding inside a metamaterial

KFC 01/30/2012

One interesting way in which our cosmos may have formed is in a collision between two other universes with extra spatial dimensions called braneworlds.

In this scenario, known as the ekpyrotic model of the universe, our cosmos is just a small four-dimensional corner of a much more complex space.

The ekpyrotic model is interesting because it leads to a flat universe like our own without the need for inflation, the period just after the Big Bang in which our universe supposedly swelled by many orders of magnitude in the blink of an eye.

Without inflation, our universe is just too big to have been formed in a Big Bang-type event. But nobody knows what might cause such a dramatic increase in size. Hence the interest in another way of explaining our existence.

If you're wondering what actually collides in the ekpyrotic version of events, the answer is Minkowski domain walls, essentially the edges of universes with different spatial dimensions.

It's easy to imagine that Minkowski domain walls are entirely theoretical. And indeed they were until now.

Today, Igor Smolyaninov and Yu-Ju Hung at the University of Maryland, in College Park, say they've created Minkowski domain walls in the lab for the first time and even used them to simulate the collision of two braneworlds.

The trick these guys have used is a formal analogy between the mathematics of space time and of electromagnetic spaces. Physicists have known since Einstein's day that it is possible to bend and distort the fabric spacetime—our universe appears to be distorted in just this way on various cosmic scales.

But it is only in the last ten years or so that they've learnt how to do the same on a much smaller scale with electromagnetic spaces. What's triggered this is the development of metamaterials: artificial substances that can bend light in almost any way imaginable.

Smolyaninov is fascinated by one version of this stuff called hyperbolic metamaterial. Inside this substance, monochromatic light propagates in a similar way to massive particles in a Minkowski spacetime, where one spatial coordinate takes on the role of time.

Hyperbolic metamaterials are essentially a series of metal layers separated by a dielectric. Smolyaninov has used this stuff to simulate a number of interesting aspects of cosmology including the Big Bang itself.

The collision between universe's is a variation on this theme. “The “colliding universe" scenario can be realized as a simple extension of our earlier experiments simulating the spacetime geometry in the vicinity of big bang,” he says.

He simulates an expanding universe using concetric rings of gold separated by a dielectric. "When the two concentric ring (“universe”) patterns touch each other (“collide”), a Minkowski domain wall is created, in which the metallic stripes touch each other at a small angle," he says.

Being able to recreate these exotic events in the lab is certainly interesting but it is beginning to lose its novelty. The problem is that this work is not telling us anything we didn't know--the universe behaves the same way inside a metamaterial as it does outside.

What Smolyaninov needs is a way of using his exotic materials to do something interesting. In other words, he needs a killer app. Any ideas?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

European Financial Oligarchs Seek Great Wall of Money at Great Wall of China?

"China Closer To Bailing Out Europe" reads a headline from Forbes toady. The article goes on:

"China is closer to bailout out Europe, China Daily reported from Davos on Switzerland.

The leaders of Denmark and Finland said China is “willing” to contribute to International Monetary Fund efforts to bail out debt-ridden southern Europe, within limits. Speaking at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, prime minister of Denmark, and Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Tapani Katainen stressed the need for China and the European Union to cooperate on some form of bailout from the IMF.

Both sides are “in the same boat”, according to Katainen. “China will suffer from the worsening economic situation in Europe, and vice versa, so it would be good for China to use part of its foreign reserves surplus through the IMF to finance countries in trouble. This would not be free. It would always be conditional,” he said.

Song Zhe, who until about a month ago was China’s ambassador to the EU, said: “China will never be absent when it comes to global efforts to rescue debt-ridden European countries."

So it would seem that these delusional financier chaps seems to think they will somehow get their aforementioned wall of money by begging at the Great Wall of China. They have just now managed to provide China (and Russia) a gift of exclusive Iranian oil. One supposes they will use a similar tactic they were ever so successful with Iran, i.e. "Give up or we will shoot ourselves in the head!"

Saturday, January 28, 2012

A theodicy that coheres with science

Given the rash of recent ballyhoo in the media regarding the so called Anthropic Principle versus atheism, I wish to propound a simple observation. To wit: the issue of the proof of a Creator is indissolubly part and parcel of the advancement of science, period. G.W.F. Leibniz' opus being the case in point. Newton, on the other hand is a mere cat's paw for the sorcerers of the black nobility.

The question is whether in this almost infinitesimally minute segment of of space and time we refer to as human history, it has been sufficiently demonstrated by Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa, et al. that no matter how much we discover the inner workings and interrelationships of the physical, biophysical, noetical domains, there will forever continue to be more to discover. This is the only coherent and valid sense that one can claim any intuition of infinite extension. Everything else as far as a putative cosmology is concerned, including such masturbatory whoppers as the stringy landscape, is pure phantasmagoria.

Who believes in time travel?

The quantum mechanics of time travel through post-selected teleportation

This paper discusses the quantum mechanics of closed timelike curves (CTC) and of other potential methods for time travel. We analyze a specific proposal for such quantum time travel, the quantum description of CTCs based on post-selected teleportation (P-CTCs). We compare the theory of P-CTCs to previously proposed quantum theories of time travel: the theory is physically inequivalent to Deutsch's theory of CTCs, but it is consistent with path-integral approaches (which are the best suited for analyzing quantum field theory in curved spacetime). We derive the dynamical equations that a chronology-respecting system interacting with a CTC will experience. We discuss the possibility of time travel in the absence of general relativistic closed timelike curves, and investigate the implications of P-CTCs for enhancing the power of computation.

I believe the probability of being paid for purveying similar arrant non-sense may be calculated in a Monte Carlo simulation that would operate as a perpetuum mobile money making machine. Oh, sorry I forgot about the so-called "rocket scientist" quants on Wall Street that gave us the exotic derivative products. Hmm... is it just chance or could there be a connection here?


The colonialist "great game" that Jonathan Swift lampooned in the Lilliputian chapter of Gulliver's travels of gang/countergang manipulation of tribal conflicts is the social control mechanism of choice of the multinational resource cartels(the new face of colonialism, but the same oligarchic families that were in control before.)

Big Bad Wolf and "Wall of Money" a Twisted Fairy Tale

This from today's NY Times:

"DAVOS, Switzerland — World leaders turned up the pressure on Europe on Saturday to erect a more formidable wall of money against the sovereign debt crisis, warning that the euro zone continues to pose a severe threat to the global economy."

What, pray tell, is a "formidable wall of money?" Is it delivered by the wheelbarrow full like it was in Germany in the last century? Or from a helicopter by Ben Bernanke like the water for dousing a raging fire? Or perhaps the little piggies are going to build their financial houses out of walls of money, but what if the big bad wolf of inflation huffs and puffs and blows their houses down? What then NY Times piggies?

Have you seen the little piggies
at the NY Times?
Repeating piggy lies--
Clutching forks and knives to eat your bacon...

(With apologies to George Harrison)

Curious Poe Quote Attacking Free Trade and Literary Piracy

"And in literature, as in piracy, the free trader always "runs up" the best at his fore; but had we done this, we should blush at our own impudence in knowing that we had been guilty of one of the most bare-faced pieces of literary swindling of modern days."

Perhaps, dear reader, this somewhat now historically blurry allusion requires some passing note of explanation. You see, the recent 1812 war with Britain which Poe's grandfather, who had been a quartermaster general and dear friend to Lafayette, in his eighties had lately fought in, was all about the British doctrine of "free trade" "impressment" of American sailor citizens as British property. Back then, Poe's audience would have immediately made the connection. For HRH East Indies Company was quite rightly reviled by American patriots such as Poe. The Chinese bore the brunt of Great Britain's geopolitical game then by being forced, in the guise of free trade, to submit to the shipment and infliction of the opium trade from Britain's Indian colony upon its haplessly addicted populace. That is until they declared war...Further, it was the Boston Brahmins with their Yankee clipper ships, the kissing cousins of our enemy in that war, that cried ever and anon for a piece of that very same free trade piracy. Not only this, dear reader, but the very same who were sponsors of sundry radical literary pursuits that Poe continuously decried. Especially the Young America cabal in and around Boston that Poe referred to as Frogpondians. (The very same Young Americans that later supported the confederacy. The article from which the above quote is taken refers to the slanderer of Poe, one Rufus Griswold, who pretended to oppose the Young America "movement.")

Unfinished Thingumbob Rhyme During the Late London Riots: What Are My Bids Sothebys?

London Town is burning down
But Lords and Ladies never quail
If rot and ruin do them assail
They may rue to move from town

More Tales of the Grotesque

Sir, If you find Leonardo raving about alchemical sorcery anywhere, then perhaps you have a point. Until then, please be aware that the quackery of Newton's "dot" calculus fraud, his stealing from Hooke's mere reworking of Kepler's discovery of the laws of gravity, and his sponsors' motives for keeping Leibniz out of England are well known to those of us who cannot be fooled all of the time.

Patterns in Creativity: Leonardo and Newton – Corcoran Gallery of Art

To former students and other friends in the Washington, DC area. I would love to see you at the lecture,
on December 7 at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. These two transformative geniuses share many traits, and differ in many others.
I plan to weave into the talk the late “Great Steve Jobs,” who died two months ago and is already on the fast track to achieving secular Sainthood.
Many would consider it insane to speak of Jobs in the same breath as Leonardo or Newton, and, of course only time will tell if Jobs’s contributions come anywhere near those of Leonardo and Newton. Because of the unprecedented pace in the development of information technology, however, hundreds of millions of individuals have already seen his influence. His personality was more like that of Newton — confident, irascible, recalcitrant, remorseless, and unable to suffer fools well — but unlike Newton, he was not reclusive. I plan to use my iPad connected to a projector to show slides, and my iPhone as a remote to control the iPad. IF these two device are unable to ‘recognize’ each other, I will be the first to demote Mr. Jobs.

Friday, January 27, 2012

All Secrets Revealed

"Serious Flaw Emerges In Quantum Cryptography"

"The perfect secrecy offered by quantum mechanics appears to have been scuppered by a previously unknown practical problem, say physicists."
The secret is-- the only thing that these fine mathematical fellows have worth concealing is not worth a farthing. It, like Ozymandias' statue, will be stone cold dead 'neath the sands of time ere long ...A grave secret indeed.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Foreign Entanglements Are Killers

Remember Kissinger? (The same beknighted (sic) Sir Henry who ominously just held court with Vladimir Putin.) The one (and perhaps only) thing that Christopher Hitchens had right was his aim to indite Henry for war crimes. Rios Montt, currently on trial for genocide, was a Kissinger project, for instance, one among a whole host, really. (Not to say that Heinz really cared about Oliver North and the Full Gospel Men's Fellowship, except perhaps to escape from his wife Nancy) But why go into details? It's all out there for anyone who cares to let their fingers do the searching.

There is a sound reason that George Washington was not sucked into Thomas Jefferson's soft spot for the blood thirsty enragée mobs in France. Alexander Hamilton was wise to the snares of the Empire's geopolitics. He saw  through the bait that was being used to morally destroy the fledgling Republic...An easy monkey jar target for dumb colonial backwoods utopians by the likes their ever so literary utopian pro sans-culottes varieties in jolly olde England, like Wordsworth, the man of plain English and the mob. You see it really doesn't matter which side you are on in the geopolitical great game, so long as the United States gets sucked into the quagmire flavor of the day. And the raison d'état is eroded.

This is why that failed haberdasher Truman was such an easy mark for bombing Hiroshima and setting off Churchill's iron curtain world government gambit of mutually assured destruction of Dr Strangelove Kissinger. This is what Viet Nam was all about: a nice little colonial bloodletting every now and again lifts the spirits. And now under the big top, for your entertainment, we have Al Qaeda. Let's see if we can stampede the ugly (and dumb) Americans to give up their constitution, shall we? (Obama, so far is doing splendidly, but we must have insurance, just in case. There's always the Israeli nuclear option, don't you know, for the Armageddon loving Bible belt Republicans.) See how those nice Libyan and Iraqi chaps we installed of late, are wallowing in blood and gore. Capital, that. Doesn't really matter which party is in (big enders or little enders) in the end as long as we can count on the Empire telling them who the "bad guys" are this time. Certainly not their most special relationship British cousins bearing gifts like drugs and that old fashioned Rock and Roll. Pay no attention to that man behind the geopolitical curtain...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Yet More Arrant Gobbledygook

Talk about inscrutable patois of ivory tower quakademia. Here is but a small sample of their nonsensical newspeak. Now, it's not that one can't decode such psycho-babble easily enough --this is a latter day apology for the "democratic party" juridical inquisition and murder of truth. Which is to say that of Socrates and Christ.

" Self-interest frequently causes individuals engaged in joint enterprises to choose actions that are counterproductive. Free-riders can invade a society of cooperators, causing a tragedy of the commons."

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Awakening From the Magic Spell: A Work in Progress

Sometimes, yours truly, is driven by a seemingly  ungovernable impulse to set forth...even well past a reasonable hour. The difference between "getting" something about the hidden wellsprings that "make history" and merely  behaving like a sightseer "viewing events" as a sort of hobbyhorse pastime (or perhaps, which is in essence the same thing, as a tenured profession) is like lifting a veil of cherished yet unexamined illusions.

Such is the stuff of mind control. Why does a Svengali or Mesmer hold such a fascination? Because dear hearts, at the root of civilization lies some very basic and unchanging principles. Most of us are continuously being snookered by the likes of modern day P.T. Barnums. This is why the fulsome questioning of one's assumptions as a society by what Leibniz called the principle of sufficient reason is always and necessarily  transformative for that very same society.  Just as there is for one's own life a method of vicariously undoing the missteps made and recovering a purpose and mission, so too with peoples and nations.

This is why the process of discovering truth is immortal. Further, it is the only meaning of immortality that is not mythical. For either we are in thrall to the mistaken and superstitious belief that society is inescapably governed by "them" (i.e. the Empire of-- fill in your chosen "opinion of who "they" are) or we awake and escape from the control of the puppet masters in the cave that Plato immortally limned once upon a time.

For the experimental creation of social movements upon these American shores is whether it is the Transcendentalism, Ayn Rand, or the Hippies is always for the simple reason to return us to "mother" Great Britain. Because there is only self government for the benefit of as yet unborn generations or there is the empire of the manipulated mind ((and perhaps one surfeited with "pleasurable" pastimes like being a sightseer at one's own (and one's country's) demise.))

Denying these quite simple truths herein is only a form of rather muted hysteria for some of the people some of the time.

A Modest Suggestion

"How Neutrons Might Escape Into Another Universe"
"The leap from our universe to another is theoretically possible, say physicists. And the technology to test the idea is available today"

Regarding the headline above, as a layman, dear reader, may I make a modest suggestion? I believe to find an alternate universe instead of a neutron bottle, a crystal ball or Ouija board would be more apropos...and perhaps some peyote.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Good Science Bad Politics

Everything goes through the PC lens of climate change change these days. Sort of like the the cosmological gravitational lens, it creates spots in the front of your mind...Reminds one of traveling to a cave to have a very disturbed wild girl pronounce gibberish because of fumes from poisonous gases and call her an oracle. Anyway on the front of ATP some progress is for real. By the bye, I only use Michelangelo's depiction because it was the one state of mind knew.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Rape of Boudicca

Don't  really  know why I picked up this historical bit o' bric o' brac unless it has something to do with my allergy to "Great" Britain....If only your defenders--Pefide Albion!,--knew what a rape of  America they commit by defending your "charm." They would surcease from sorrow. (With all due apologies to all and sundry.)

That's Entertainment

The Superbowl mania is rather reminiscent of Walpurgisnacht. Scream your heads off fanatics it's the American way...that and Beatlemania

The Imp of the Paradox: President without a Country

It is reported Obama must prove he is a citizen in a Georgian court before Judge Malihi. But can a President rightfully claim citizenship who has just signed away the constitutional guarantee of a citizen's right to Habeus Corpus? Doesn't this make him a man without a country? Would Obama have accorded the right to a fair trial at Nuremberg for crimes of genocide of the Nazis? Churchill (who ordered Obama'a grandfather to be tortured) wanted no trial; instead the Act of Attainder like today's NDAA was urged by him. What would Justice Robert Jackson think of the promulgation of the NDAA?

Even Miguel Cervantes' Sancho Panza as governor of an imaginary island knew better how to employ mercy than Obama...

Yes Virginia, the Roman Pantheon Was Purified Evil

Remarkable that a civilization that had such a refined degree of inventiveness could at the same time devolve into such a thoroughly evil empire.

The J. Paul Getty Museum and the Bibliothèque nationale de France are collaborating on the research and conservation treatment of the Berthouville Treasure, the extraordinary Roman silver hoard from the Bibliotheque’s Cabinet des Médailles.
Antiquities curator Kenneth Lapatin with the Mercury statuette in the antiquities conservation studio at the Getty Villa
Antiquities curator Kenneth Lapatin with in the antiquities conservation studio at the Getty Villa with the statuette of Mercury from the Berthouville Treasure (Roman, 100 B.C.-A.D. 200. Silver, 14 5/8 in. high. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Département des monnaies, médailles et antiques, Paris).
Almost one hundred objects arrived at the Getty Villa in December 2010, and technical examination, analysis, and photography of the individual artifacts continued throughout 2011.
One of the most intriguing objects is a small silver statuette, about 14 inches high, of Mercury, the Roman god of travel and commerce.  The statuette was found in fragments, which were entrusted in the 19th century for restoration to Alexi Joseph Depaulis, a well known artist who worked in metal.
Statuette of Mercury from the Berthouville Treasure - pre-conservation view
Statuette of Mercury from the Berthouville Treasure in the antiquities conservation studios at the Getty Villa
Knowing what has been done to the sculpture over the years, and what is inside it, is the first step in understanding how to properly conserve it. Close visual analysis along with X-radiographs have revealed much about this history.
X-rays revealed that Depaulis employed an armature of small metal rods with twisted wire. Wax was used to construct a stable support structure to hold the individual silver fragments. Analysis by our colleagues at the Getty Conservation Institute has established that the wax is natural beeswax.
Statuette of Mercury from the Berthouville Treasure - X-ray view
Our study also suggests that the silver used to create the Mercury statuette was manufactured by hammering silver to a thin gauge sheet, but the left hand is solid and seems to have been made separately and to have been attached to the wrist of the right arm by sliding its wrist portion into the hollow arm. Traces of gilding on the wings of the god’s helmet are also preserved. The support rods appear to be solid and stable, so we have no plans to remove them.
Our work on this statue was one of what we hope to be many more interesting findings with this project.
Statuette of Mercury from the Berthouville Treasure in the antiquities conservation studios at the Getty Villa
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  1. January 22nd, 2012 at 7:49 am
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    Remarkable that a civilization that had such a refined degree of inventiveness could at the same time devolve into such a thoroughly evil empire.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Wherein Thingumbob Answers the Ludicrous Charge that Poe Hated Boston

Dear madam, 

I'm afraid you err in thinking that somehow Edgar Poe hated the city of Boston. What he disdained were the Boston Brahmins (the predecessors of today's Vault.) Especially the idle rich that took up ignominious literary fads (and plagiarism.) Boston was the epicenter of our revolution, as such, Poe being a thoroughgoing self professed patriot would have nothing against Beantown per se--only it's later becoming (along with Newburyport traitors) the staging ground for the despicable Tories that became the junior partners of our enemy's British East Indies Company in forcing opium consumption upon hapless victims in China. 

Yours truly,
Thingumbob Esq.

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Race for the Presidency: The Bathetic Versus Tragedy

Currently, we are witnessing the lawful collapse of an unreal facade in America. While the world hurtles toward  thermonuclear incineration like a patient in a coma, seemingly unable to alter the governing belief in the sanctity of mere fictitious money, we are nightly salaciously entertained by the tawdry send up a la Hollywood of the Presidential race. Newt Gingrich was apparently blithely unaware of his unintended irony when he proclaimed in last night's debate that the media by its fixation on lurid scandal makes it impossible for a serious candidate to enter the race...Ah, but some people will brook any sort of egregious humiliation for fame and mere money. Right Newt? Right Barack?

Oh yes, Barack--let's not forget him as he performed at the Apollo on stage that very same night a bar or two of falsetto. Oh, how many times he must have preened before the bathroom mirror and sung those lines to himself, perhaps with one of his daughters tittering in the hallway. This the man who wantonly sees fit to rip up the constitution to remake America in the image of our only real adversary Great Britain. They have their Official Secrets Act, we now have the NDAA. Habeus Corpus is dead and so with it our Constitution. We should all have Ben Franklin's warning ringing in our ears, except that we are so besotted with bling and circuses, that most of us haven't a clue as to what exactly he warned...Many years ago there was a popular counter cultural comedy troop called Firesign Theater and one of the titles of their albums has presciently come home to roost,as it were: We are All Bozos on this Bus. But now we need off this magic bus so tragically careening into the abyss.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Real Science for a Change

To this I say: bravo. As I have noted the remarkable feature of the ATP synthase engine in the past is that it rotates clockwise or counterclockwise for aerobic or anaerobic synthesis for the creation of cellular free energy. Now, a new feature is discovered that this wonderful enzyme also is capable of switching from use of ionic hydrogen and sodium at the extreme thermodynamic boundary condition in the "methanogenic archaeon Methanosarcina acetivorans." It is precisely in the study of these types of such extreme anomalous domains that true scientific progress is secured.

Promiscuous archaeal ATP synthase concurrently coupled to Na+ and H+translocation

  1. Volker Müllera,1
+Author Affiliations
  1. aMolecular Microbiology and Bioenergetics, Institute of Molecular Biosciences, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, 60438 Frankfurt am Main, Germany;
  2. bTheoretical Molecular Biophysics Group, Max Planck Institute of Biophysics, 60438 Frankfurt am Main, Germany, and
  3. cCluster of Excellence ”Macromolecular Complexes,” 60438 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
  1. Edited* by E. Peter Greenberg, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, and approved December 2, 2011 (received for review September 27, 2011)


ATP synthases are the primary source of ATP in all living cells. To catalyze ATP synthesis, these membrane-associated complexes use a rotary mechanism powered by the transmembrane diffusion of ions down a concentration gradient. ATP synthases are assumed to be driven either by H+ or Na+, reflecting distinct structural motifs in their membrane domains, and distinct metabolisms of the host organisms. Here, we study the methanogenic archaeon Methanosarcina acetivorans using assays of ATP hydrolysis and ion transport in inverted membrane vesicles, and experimentally demonstrate that the rotary mechanism of its ATP synthase is coupled to the concurrent translocation of both H+ and Na+across the membrane under physiological conditions. Using free-energy molecular simulations, we explain this unprecedented observation in terms of the ion selectivity of the binding sites in the membrane rotor, which appears to have been tuned via amino acid substitutions so that ATP synthesis in M. acetivoranscan be driven by the H+ and Na+ gradients resulting from methanogenesis. We propose that this promiscuity is a molecular mechanism of adaptation to life at the thermodynamic limit.

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