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Science 325 (5937): 158-159

Copyright © 2009 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Cell Biology

Sizing Up the Cell

Bruce A. Edgar1, and Kerry J. Kim2

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. on page 167 of this issue (1) combines a new experimental method with careful mathematical analysis to answer these questions for cultured mammalian lymphoblasts.

1 Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA 98109, USA.
2 Center for Cell Dynamics, Friday Harbor Labs, University of Washington, Friday Harbor, WA 98250, USA.

E-mail: bedgar{at}; kjkim{at}

Size homeostasis in adherent cells studied by synthetic phase microscopy.
Y. Sung, A. Tzur, S. Oh, W. Choi, V. Li, R. R. Dasari, Z. Yaqoob, and M. W. Kirschner (2013)
PNAS 110, 16687-16692
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Class XI Myosins Are Required for Development, Cell Expansion, and F-Actin Organization in Arabidopsis.
V. V. Peremyslov, A. I. Prokhnevsky, and V. V. Dolja (2010)
PLANT CELL 22, 1883-1897
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »

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