It’s as if they were designed to do that:
MIT researchers have discovered that before cells start to divide, they do a little cleanup, tossing out molecules that they appear not to need anymore.
Using a new method they developed for measuring the dry mass of cells, the researchers found that cells lose about 4 percent of their mass as they enter cell division. The researchers believe that this emptying of trash helps cells to give their offspring a “fresh start,” without the accumulated junk of the parent cell.
“Our hypothesis is that cells might be throwing out things that are building up, toxic components or just things that don’t function properly that you don’t want to have there. It could allow the newborn cells to be born with more functional contents,” says Teemu Miettinen, an MIT research scientist and the lead author of the new study.Massachusetts Institute of Technology, “Cells take out the trash before they divide” at ScienceDaily (May 10, 2022)
The paper is open access.
You may also wish to read: The secret world in the gaps between brain cells Neuroscientist: It’s now known that every cell in the brain is separated from its neighbor by a fluid-filled extracellular space (ECS), which forms sheets and tunnels, as shown on page 26 in a computer reconstruction of the ECS in a rat’s brain.