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Cell division during pregnancy

  1. Feb 1, 2009 #1
    A baby is born weighing 4kg. It starts its life from a single cell, which then divides into 2 cells, each
    of those two divide then again, and so on. Use information from the problem above above to calculate
    how many diffusion process happen in the 9 months of pregnancy. Is this a realistic answer? Which
    assumptions are most questionable?

    Assuming that 50% of the baby's mass consists of cells, and that each cell has a mass of 6.3E-13 kg, we have a total number of 3.2E12 cells when the baby is born.

    Find number of diffusion processes:

    1 \cdot 2^x = 3.2 \cdot 10^{12} \Rightarrow x = log_2(3.2 \cdot 10^{12}) \approx 42

    Is my thinking and calculations correct? Is this a realistic answer? Which
    assumptions are most questionable?
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2009
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 1, 2009 #2


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    Do all cells divide?
    Do any cells die and are removed?

    Other than that, looks good
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