Most bacteria multiply by binary fission. Microbial growth is an increase in the number of cells in a population. The time required for a population to double in number is the generation time.

■ Explain why microbial growth refers to a population rather than a cell size.

■ If a bacterium has a generation time of 30 minutes, and you start with 100 cells at time 0, how many cells will you have in 30, 60, 90, and 120 minutes?

■ Why would placing potato salad in a cooler affect cell growth?

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