Mechanisms that scale eukaryotic cell cycle phases
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Recurring shapes and patterns in nature are sometimes described with mathematical relationships. As a result, these natural processes can be predicted and understood better. Regarding patterns of eukaryotic cell division, one could ask: How are the lengths of eukaryotic cell cycle phases related to each other and to the total doubling time of the population? Can such relations be described mathematically, in the form of a scaling formula? If so, what are the molecular mechanisms that govern the scaling? A scaling relation that describes eukaryotic cell division is an important advance for several reasons: First, it allows predictions of proliferation rates, which could be useful in diverse settings, such as in tissues at an organismal level. Second, it serves as a benchmark against which the effects of genetic or other perturbations can be evaluated. Third, a scaling relation of cellular physiology may reflect general, physical mechanisms that organize life at the cellular level.