Cell Division

a poster on Mitosis by Zaydia Ellis

What is Cell Division?

Cell division is the basis of life itself; it is how animals grow and reproduce. When cells divide, two daughter cells are produced from one mother cell. Each new cell has exactly the same genetic material (DNA) as the cell that produced it. This process is called Mitosis.

Why is Cell Division Important?

Cellular division has three main functions: (1) the reproduction of an entire unicellular organism, (2) the growth and repair of tissues in multicellular animals, and (3) the formation of gametes (eggs and sperm) for sexual reproduction in multicellular animals. The process of mitosis produces identical cells for the first two functions listed above
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How Does Mitosis Work?

There are five steps in mitosis.

  1. Prophase: The shape of the DNA changes. Other changes take place in the cytoplasm.
  2. Metaphase: Chromosomes line up in the middle of the cell, pulled there by microtubules. Sister chromatids line up on each side of the metaphase plate. This can be compared to putting one left shoe on one side of the plate and one right shoe on the other side of the plate.
  3. Anaphase: Pairs of sister chromatids split and are pulled to opposite sides of the cell by the microtubules. This is like putting the left shoes into different sides of the cell; the same thing happens with the right shoes. At the end of anaphase, there is one complete set of chromosomes on each side of the cell and the sets are identical.
  4. Telophase: DNA returns to the state it was in during interphase
  5. Cytokinesis: then divides the rest of the cell, and two identical cells results

What is the importance of this?

Cell division research expected to lead to containment of cancer cells and regenerative medical treatments. Since cells and cellular division is the basis of all life the research in that area is creating different ways to deal with different diseases such as cancer. With out this research things like chemotherapy and other medicines would not be available for people illnesses.

What Research is Being done Now?

Cells use a tiny machine called the mitotic spindle to share genetic material equally between cells when they divide. But when this process goes wrong it can lead to cancer. In one lab, researchers are interested in how the spindle divides up genetic material accurately.Anti-cancer drugs have been developed which target the mitotic spindle and destroy dividing cells in tumors. But these drugs have significant side effects. In Their lab, Dr. Royle is trying to understand how the mitotic spindles work in order to develop drugs that are more targeted and have fewer side effects. Dr. Royle along with the lab at the University of Leicester, have recently described how the proteins in the TACC3–ch-TOG–clathrin complex bind to one another. In turn this led us to understand how the complex binds to microtubules. By taking out the TACC3 protein, the clathrin loses its function and is no longer able to create some of the bridges that bind the microtubles.

Works Cited

Higgins, Laura A.. "Cell Division." Animal Sciences. 2002. Retrieved April 13, 2015 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3400500060.html