News From the Field
Metabolic Reactions: Less is More in Single-celled Organisms
December 5, 2008
A Northwestern University study of four single-celled organisms had some surprising results. The organisms, which differed in size and complexity of each organism's genome, used the same number of biochemical reactions when optimizing growth. And, contrary to what you might expect, each, to efficiently perform metabolic tasks such as growing fast or converting sugars to ethanol, tended to use only a small fraction of the biochemical reactions available to them in the metabolic network.
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