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

A scaffold at the center of our cellular skeleton

All animal cells have an organelle called a centrosome, which is essential to the organization of their cell skeleton. The centrosome plays fundamental roles, especially during cell division, where it allows equal sharing ...

How roots find their way to water

Plants use their roots to search for water. While the main root digs downwards, a large number of fine lateral roots explore the soil on all sides. As researchers from Nottingham, Heidelberg and Goethe University of Frankfurt ...

Inner 'clockwork' sets the time for cell division in bacteria

Researchers at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel have discovered a "clockwork" mechanism that controls cell division in bacteria. In two publications, in Nature Communications and PNAS, they report how a small signaling ...

Epigenetics: Inheritance of epigenetic markers

A study undertaken by an international team led by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich molecular biologist Axel Imhof sheds new light on the mechanisms that control the establishment of epigenetic modifications ...

Orientation of protein patterns

During embryogenesis in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, the first cell division occurs transverse to the long axis of the fertilized egg. In a new study, biophysicists at LMU have now shown how this axis is reliably ...

Method triggers selective degradation of proteins for analysis

Scientists of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have developed a tool to eliminate essential proteins from cells with a flash of light. The new method makes it possible to study the function of essential proteins.

How cells assemble their microtubule skeleton

Microtubules, filamentous structures within the cell, are required for many important processes, including cell division and intracellular transport. A research team led by scientists from Heidelberg University recently discovered ...

How bacteria control their cell cycle

Researchers at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel have demonstrated how bacteria coordinate cell division with the replication of their genetic material. In an interdisciplinary study they explain why the current concept ...

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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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