Is a bacteria more crowded than a human cell?

Bugs & Beyond

Let us compare just bacterial and human cells to make life easy. When you say crowding, are we talking about crowding caused by macromolecules such as proteins or crowding due to macromolecules, small molecules and ions? I will try to find the density in each type of cell. May the densest cell win!

We will compare E. coli with H. sapiens. I will assume the volume of the bacteria to be 1 cubic micron, and the volume of the human cell as around 1000 cubic micron. There are larger human cells as well smaller ones but this should work. The volume of the nucleus is around 400 – 500 cubic microns – yes they are that big. That leaves us with 500 cubic micron to work with.

Macromolecules: Bacteria are estimated to have around 2 million cytosolic proteins whereas human cells have around 1 billion proteins copies per cell. In…

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