Chapter 11 Spark Page

The Cell Cycle

The cell cycle is the series of events that lead up to the eventual division of the mother cell into two daughter cells. For most of the cell's life, it is in interphase. Interphase is the part of a cell's life where the cell performs its function and nothing else. All other stages of the cell's life, minus cytokinesis, are during a process called mitosis, which is the process of cell division. Cytokinesis, simply, is the end product of mitosis, two identical cells.

Interphase is a stage in the cell's life where the chromatin has not yet condensed. The cell performs its normal function and is in this stage for the majority of the cycle.

Prophase is the next stage in a cell's life and is the first step of mitosis. In this stage, the chromatin condenses into chromosomes and the nucleolus disappears. Spindles form from the centrioles, which are used later.

Metaphase is the next stage in the cell cycle where the chromosomes formed during the prophase line up along an imaginary line called the metaphase plate. The chromosomes are held here by the centrioles which are organelles in the cell used for this and building the cytoskeleton.

During this stage, the chromosomes held on the metaphase plate are broken at the centromeres. These sister chromatids move to opposite ends of the cell and are preparing for cytokinesis.

After the sister chromatids move to each side of the cell, the nucleolus reappears and the chromosomes unwind into chromatids.

Finally, in cytokinesis, a myosin II and actin filament ring forms and closes, forming two cells. Cytoplasm stays in each side respectively and membrane encloses both cells.

The telomere is a repetitive sequence of amino acids that are located in a chromosome at the end of each tail. Their purpose is to prevent deterioration and fusion with other chromosomes.

Cancer is a group of diseases that are characterized by abnormal growth of certain cells. These abnormal growths formate themselves in what we call tumors. Tumors can be benign or malignant. Benign tumors' cells do not enter the blood stream and therefore, do not spread throughout the body. Malignant tumors however, seep into the bloodstream and can cause death. The cancer cells move throughout your body and can cause hundreds of small tumors to be formed.

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Will Dean

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