MathBench > Microbiology

Frank's Football Fiasco

All we need now is data

We know that bacterial populations grows exponentially (Nt = N0 2g), and we know how many are likely to kill him (2.5 million), and we even know how many generations it will take to get to that number (about 21 generations) but what we don't know is... how fast are the generations? Or, put another way, what is the doubling time?clock

If the doubling time is a week, or a year, it would take a really long time to get to 2.5 million meningococci, and Frank could take some medicine go home feeling pretty confident. That would still be exponential growth, but it would be very slow. Like molasses.

But if the doubling time is in the seconds or minutes, then Frank is in real trouble.

So, how fast do meningococci populations double? Let's order up some data, stat!