By Diana Lutz -
In 1958, a group of scientists working in Denmark made the striking observation that bacterial cells are about twice as large when they are cultured on a rich nutrient source than when they are cultured on a meager one. When they are shifted from a nutrient-poor environment to a nutrient-rich one, they bulk up until they have achieved a size more appropriate to their new growth conditions.
It has taken 60 years to figure out how the bacteria are able to sample their surroundings and alter their cell cycles so that they grow to a size suited to the environment.
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