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Like other living creatures, bacteria guarantee their future by passing down DNA to their children. Escherichia coli (E. coli, for short) are tremendously gifted at this, typically splitting down the middle into two daughter cells and providing each with a full set of chromosomes. Research has shown that exclusion plays a big role in this division process by limiting where necessary division proteins can gather in the parent cell. Physics Assistant Professor Jaan Mannik, graduate student Matthew Bailey, and their colleagues have identified a new positioning system for cell division proteins in E. coli: one that attracts these proteins rather than excluding them. Their findings were published August 7 in the journal PLOS Genetics.

To read more about their research, visit the Department of Physics and Astronomy website.