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Popping Cells Surprise Living Circuits Creators

Under the microscope, the bacteria start dividing normally, two cells become four and then eight and so on. But then individual cells begin "popping," like circus balloons being struck by darts.

This phenomenon, which surprised the Duke University bioengineers who captured it on video, turns out to be an example of a more generalized occurrence that must be considered by scientists creating living, synthetic circuits out of bacteria. Even when given the same orders, no two cells will behave the same.

The researchers believe this accidental finding of a circuit they call "ePop" can help increase the efficiency and power of future synthetic biology circuits.
 
 

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