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Bacteria do not simply perish in hunger phases fortuitously; rather, the surrounding cells have a say as well. A research team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now discovered that two factors, above all, decide over life and death: the energy required to continue living and the efficiency with which surviving cells can recycle biomass from dead cells.
The survival and growth of cells are central factors in biological systems. Scientists such as Ulrich Gerland, Professor for Physics of Complex Biosystems at TUM, are therefore trying to understand how the molecular components interact to maintain the viability of a group of cells in stress situations.
Team - Ulrich - Gerland - Factors - Survival
The team led by Ulrich Gerland has now succeeded in identifying two crucial factors for the survival of a bacterium: the basic energy consumption of a cell and the quantity of energy that the surviving cells can gain per neighboring dead cell, measuring the biomass recycling efficiency.
The researchers emulated an emergency situation in cells of the bacterium Escherichia Coli in which the bacteria were lacking sugar and other carbohydrates. The bacteria therefore had neither energy nor building materials available.
Cells - Cells - Nutrients - Cell - Cadavers
As the first cells died, the surviving cells tried to gain nutrients from the surrounding cell cadavers. The higher the energy turnover of a certain enzyme, the greater was the rate of mortality. The more they were able to recycle from dead cells, the higher was...
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