Atomic cars.

Finally. The good folks at Discovery News give us some hope we’ll be able to drive around with uranium fuel:

Scientists from the Los Alamos National Laboratory have created a long-sought molecule known as uranium nitride. Besides offering cheaper and safer nuclear fuel, the new molecule could extract more energy from fossil fuels, making cars more fuel-efficient, and could also lead to cheaper drugs.

Unfortunately the new molecule is destroyed when it rips hydrogen atoms off a carbon atom. For uranium nitride to become commercially viable, it would have to knock one hydrogen atom after another and not destroy itself in the process.

The scientists would, in other words, have to turn uranium nitride into a catalyst. That should be possible, said Kiplinger, but right now it is not.

Scientists might not have a cheap, reliable and reusable molecular bond-breaker, but nature already does. Found in virtually every organism on Earth, cytochrome P450 is an enzyme involved in a massive number of chemical transformations, from from creating energy in mitochrondria to drug metabolism.

“Our studies suggest that uranium nitride breaks carbon-hydrogen bonds like cytochrome P450,” said Kiplinger.

So they’re studying our guts to make the cars go with atomic power.

That’s some kind of scientific singularity there, isn’t it?