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 the TUM, are therefore trying to understand how the molecular components interact to maintain the viability of a group of cells in stress situations.

Nutrients from neighboring cell cadavers

The researchers emulated an emergency situation in cells of the bacterium Escherichia Coli in which the bacteria were lacking sugar and other carbohydrates.

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