Related topics: cells · chromosomes · protein · cancer cells · genes

Bacteria made to mimic cells, form communities

Rice University scientists have found a way to engineer a new kind of cell differentiation in bacteria, inspired by a naturally occurring process in stem cells.

Researchers make critical cell division discovery

Researchers at the University of Dundee have solved one of the mysteries of cell division, a discovery which may shed light on cancer development and one day help develop new drugs to treat the disease.

Skin in balance: Joint forces of polarity and cell mechanics

The cell polarity protein Par3 controls mechanical changes in the skin and plays an important role in cell division. Malfunction can lead to DNA damages. The balance of the system is of great importance—while too much differentiation ...

A scientific approach to recreate metabolic evolution in plants

Plants have evolved to produce a variety of compounds that vary from species to species. These compounds play a key role for the survival strategies of plants. Compounds that are bitter and poisonous protect the plants from ...

Cell division

Cell division is a process by which a cell, called the parent cell, divides into two or more cells, called daughter cells. Cell division is usually a small segment of a larger cell cycle. This type of cell division in eukaryotes is known as mitosis, and leaves the daughter cell capable of dividing again. The corresponding sort of cell division in prokaryotes is known as binary fission. In another type of cell division present only in eukaryotes, called meiosis, a cell is permanently transformed into a gamete and cannot divide again until fertilization. For simple unicellular organisms such as the amoeba, one cell division is equivalent to reproduction-- an entire new organism is created. On a larger scale, mitotic cell division can create progeny from multicellular organisms, such as plants that grow from cuttings. Cell division also enables sexually reproducing organisms to develop from the one-celled zygote, which itself was produced by cell division from gametes. And after growth, cell division allows for continual construction and repair of the organism. A human being's body experiences about 10,000 trillion cell divisions in a lifetime.

The primary concern of cell division is the maintenance of the original cell's genome. Before division can occur, the genomic information which is stored in chromosomes must be replicated, and the duplicated genome separated cleanly between cells. A great deal of cellular infrastructure is involved in keeping genomic information consistent between "generations".

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