How many bacteria?

About microscopic forms of life, including Bacteria, Archea, protozoans, algae and fungi. Topics relating to viruses, viroids and prions also belong here.

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Miss_Me
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How many bacteria?

Post by Miss_Me » Mon Mar 05, 2007 2:13 pm

I was wondering, if a bacteria organism divides once every 20 minutes, how long would it take to produce 2,000,000 (or 2 x 10^6) bacteria cells?

I'm confused on how i'd work this out because i'm getting a sense of there's too many numbers to handle, as each cell divides in 2 every 20 minutes.


please help!

thanks!

Darby
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Post by Darby » Mon Mar 05, 2007 3:31 pm

The easiest way to work this out is with a table, putting the time intervals next to the total number of cells. You won't need that big a table, either...

0 minutes - 1 cell
20 min - 2
40 - 4.......

Belana
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Post by Belana » Tue Mar 20, 2007 1:31 pm

x(final) = x(start)*2^n

n = t (time needed) / T (generation period)


2000000 = 1*2^n
log 2000000 = n . log 2
n = 20,93

((20 min = 1/3 h))

20,93 = t / (1/3)
20,93 = 3t

t = 6,97h = cca 6h 58 min

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