Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

When calculating cell-growth thermodynamics, reconsider using the Gibbs free energy equation

10.06.2013
A forthcoming article in The Quarterly Review of Biology provides the basis for an argument against using the Gibbs free energy equation to accurately determine the thermodynamics of microbial growth.

Microbial growth is a biological process that has been previously treated as a chemical reaction operating in accord with the Gibbs free energy equation, developed during the 1870s. The heat of yeast growth was the first to be measured by direct calorimetry, in 1856. However, the full application of the Gibbs equation to microbial growth did not occur until 1997, with the experimental measurement of yeast cell entropy.

Subsequent investigations showed that the quantity of absorbed thermal energy for solid substances had two values, depending on how it was calculated. Because there can be only one correct value at a given temperature, Dr. Edwin H. Battley, emeritus of Stony Brook University and recipient of the International Society for Biological Calorimetry’s Dubrunfaut Award (1994) and Lavoisier Medal (2010), examined the use of the Gibbs free energy equation to accurately determine the change in energy that accompanies cellular growth.

In many systems, the values for some variables cannot be determined experimentally and so must be calculated from theoretically derived values. The free energy change accompanying cellular growth cannot be directly measured but, if the heat of growth can be measured and the entropy change accompanying growth can be calculated indirectly from heat measurements, the free energy change can be calculated using the Gibbs free energy equation.

The basis for Battley’s review is in the observation of an apparent discrepancy between the amounts of growth obtained when S. cerevisiae was grown on glucose in aerobic or anaerobic conditions. Assuming it is the change in the Gibbs energy that drives the reactions that occur in both conditions, it is expected that the amount of growth would be proportional to the amount of nonthermal energy initially available and there would be 13.2 times more growth aerobically than anaerobically. However, when the growth for these two systems was measured turbidometrically, this value was found to be only 3.4. It is clear that a discrepancy exists between what is theoretically expected and what is experimentally determined.

Using results of earlier studies, Battley devised a different equation to calculate the thermodynamics of microbial growth. This involves using a different mathematical procedure to calculate enthalpy values for absorbed thermal energy exchange. As a consequence, values for entropy used for this purpose are removed. He found that the appl­­ication of this equation (which he calls the Battley free energy equation) achieved values different from those obtained using the Gibbs free energy equation for the same system. Because the Battley free energy equation uses an absorbed thermal energy variable that is easier to understand in the context of the real-world system in which microbes exist, Battley argues that his free energy equation more realistically represents real-world conditions, and in a way that is more simple and parsimonious to calculate. As such, it is superior for determining the thermodynamics of microbial growth than is the Gibbs free energy equation.

Battley, Edwin H. “A Theoretical Study of the Thermodynamics of Microbial Growth Using Saccharomyces cerevisiae and a Different Free Energy Equation.” Quarterly Review of Biology Vol.88, No. 2 (June 2013).

The Quarterly Review of Biology (http://journals.uchicago.edu/QRB), the premier review journal in biology, has presented insightful historical, philosophical, and technical treatments of important biological topics since 1926. The QRB publishes outstanding review articles of generous length that are guided by an expansive, inclusive, and often humanistic understanding of biology. Beyond the core biological sciences, the QRB is also an important review journal for scholars in related areas, including policy studies and the history and philosophy of science.

Emily Murphy | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uchicago.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht When Air is in Short Supply - Shedding light on plant stress reactions when oxygen runs short
23.03.2017 | Institut für Pflanzenbiochemie

nachricht WPI team grows heart tissue on spinach leaves
23.03.2017 | Worcester Polytechnic Institute

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

When Air is in Short Supply - Shedding light on plant stress reactions when oxygen runs short

23.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Researchers use light to remotely control curvature of plastics

23.03.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Sea ice extent sinks to record lows at both poles

23.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>