Scientists have searched for years to understand how cells measure their size. Cell size is critical. It’s what regulates cell division in a growing organism. When the microscopic structures double in size, they divide. One cell turns into two. Two cells turn into four. The process repeats until an organism has enough cells. And then it stops. Or at least it is supposed to.
The complete chain of events that causes cell division to stop at the right time is what has confounded scientists. Beyond being a textbook problem, the question relates to serious medical challenges: Cells that stop dividing too soon can cause defects in growing organisms. Uncontrolled cell growth can lead to cancers or other disorders.