Pg. 16 of Guyton’s Medical Physiology states that

The carbohydrate moieties attached to the outer surface of the cell have several important functions:

  1. Many of them have a negative electrical charge, which gives most cells an overall negative surface charge that repels other negatively charged objects.
  2. The glycocalyx of some cells attaches to the glycocalyx of other cells, thus attaching cells to one another.

Why would cells that are negative charged attract according to the second point given above?

  • $\begingroup$ The statement you quote does not say that cells are attracted by negative charge. $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause Jan 11 at 19:18
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    $\begingroup$ Thank you but then what are the cells attracted by? $\endgroup$ – ImogenAscendance Jan 11 at 19:47
  • $\begingroup$ It doesn't say they are "attracted" at all; they are attached. $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause Jan 11 at 19:48
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    $\begingroup$ So, 2 objects of the same charge can be attached to each other? $\endgroup$ – ImogenAscendance Jan 11 at 19:51
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    $\begingroup$ @ImogenAscendance Point 2. is not necessarily about negative charges, but about the involvement of carbohydrate moieties in attaching to the glycocalyx of other cells. The textbook statement appears reasonable to me. $\endgroup$ – z1273 Jan 12 at 12:53

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