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Sizing Up the Cell

This perspective discusses new information and experimental methods used in the study of the kinetics of cell growth and its influence on cell division. The coordination of cell growth and division is responsible for fundamental characteristics of cells such as their size: Fast growth with slow division makes big cells, whereas slow growth with fast division makes small cells. Yet despite decades of effort, the kinetics of cell growth and its influence on cell division have remained elusive topics, at least for animal cells. Is cell growth linear (constant) or exponential (proportional to cell size)? Does cell division occur after cells have grown beyond a minimum size, or is there rather some “age of consent” for division, or both? A report by Tzur et al. combines a new experimental method with careful mathematical analysis to answer these questions for cultured mammalian lymphoblasts.

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Resource Type: Journal article/Issue, Review
Audience Level: Undergraduate lower division 13-14, Undergraduate upper division 15-16, Graduate, Professional (degree program), Continuing education

Author and Copyright

Authors and Editors: Bruce Edgar of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Kerry Kim of Center for Cell Dynamics, University of Washington
Publisher: SCIENCE
Format: text/html
Copyright and other restrictions: Yes
Cost: No


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