Cell Division: Mitosis

Part of being a living organism is the ability to grow. When growth occurs, cells within the organisms need to duplicate. Mitosis is the process by which normal body cells replicate. This process begins with one cell and produces two, identical daughter cells. Mitosis has five distinct phases: prophase, metaphase, anaphase, telophase, and interphase.

During prophase, the cell prepares itself for division. It copies its DNA and also aligns certain parts (namely centrioles) in the right position.

The DNA lines up in the middle during metaphase. Centrioles connect to the DNA which is now in a condensed form called chromosomes.

Anaphase marks the beginning of actual cell division. During this process, half of each chromosome is pulled to the two cells that are beginning to form.

Telophase is the end of the division portion of mitosis. The cell membrane closes around each new cell. Although each new cell is identical to the parent cell, they contain half of the DNA.

Interphase is known as the resting phase of mitosis. This is the time when the cell is performing its normal functions and making preparations for another round of mitosis.

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