Science Questions

Why would it matter to bacteria when they divide?

Sat, 21st Apr 2012

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Question

Nat Spirit, Second Life asked:

Why would it matter to bacteria if they divided in the day or the night?

Answer

In our interview with Ak Reddy, he explains how species segregate certain tasks into day or night - DNA replication, as needed for cell division, is affected by UV radiation from the Sun, leading to mutations.  As a result, many species prefer to do the majority of cell division at night...

Ak -   In terms of bacteria, it obviously doesn’t think about things, it just tries to grow the best it can essentially.  But essentially, if it wants to survive, its survival of the fittest, it wants to make sure that its progeny basically are the ones that live on and capable of living on to the best that they can then they need to basically make sure that they survive and don't accumulate mutations that they don't actually need.

 

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