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Parasite division, morphogenesis, and host invasion are force-dependent processes .

Cytoskeletal filament tracks propelled by force-producing molecular motors attached to a surface .

“ Watching the filaments move around like glowing worms reminded me that the motion inherent in life , so mysterious to the Greeks and early-twentieth-century researchers alike , was now without doubt explained by the amazing motions of mere molecules ” .

“ We have come a long way—from the vital forces of the ancients to the molecules of molecular biologists and biophysicists . If we are seeking the ‘ life force ’ , the force that animates life , then our search has been successful . This animating force is the random force of atoms , the jittering afterglow of the creation of the universe . The molecular machines , which take this undirected force and give it direction , embody the tight embrace of chance and necessity and are themselves the product of this embrace . Sculpted by evolution , the molecular machines of our bodies tame the molecular storm and turn it into the dance of life ” .

Peter M. Hoffman, Life’s Ratchet, How Molecular Machines Extract Order from Chaos, published by Basic Books, a member of the Perseus Books Group, 2012.

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