Electrokinetics promises to be the microfluidic technique of choice for portable diagnostic chips and for nanofluidic molecular detectors. However, despite two centuries of research, our understanding of ion transport and electro-osmotic flow in and near nanoporous membranes, whose pores are natural nanochannels, remains woefully inadequate. This short exposition reviews the various ion-flux and hydrodynamic anomalies and speculates on their potential applications, particularly in the area of molecular sensing. In the process, we revisit several old disciplines, with some unsolved open questions, and we hope to create a new one.

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