Let's get back to biology. The latest from Mike Gene's blog:
[Caveman ask that somebody do that magic thing with links]
Setting up a culture of cells is a relatively simple task. All you need is some media, which would be a solution that contains all the ingredients needed for cell growth, and some cells, obtained from another previous culture. Put simply, you fill a container with media and add a small amount of cells. These cells then do what cells do – they divide and form a large population of cells over time. In other words, the machinery within the cells converts the simple biomolecules in the media into new cells.
But now I have a puzzle for you.
Lets begin by making a media with the following ingredients: amino acids, glucose, vitamins, nucleosides, salts and citrate. Next, let’s transfer a single Tetrahymena cell to 1 microliter of the media. That corresponds to a density of 1000 cells per ml. What happens? The cell does what cells do – it divides and forms a population of cells.
But what happens if you transfer a single Tetrahymena cell to 10 microliters of media (which corresponds of 100 cells per mi.)? Answer – it dies.
So why does this single-celled organism die when it is surrounded by an abundance of food and there are no predators or toxins around?
I’ll give ya the answer in the next entry.
Or does anybody here know the answer?