Cell Cycle Flashcards, test questions and answers
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What is Cell Cycle?
The cell cycle is the process by which a single parent cell divides into two daughter cells. It is composed of four main stages: interphase, prophase, metaphase, and anaphase. During interphase, the normal cellular activities occur as the cell grows and prepares for division. Prophase marks the initiation of mitosis where chromosomes condense and become visible under a microscope. Metaphase is characterized by the alignment of pairs of chromosomes along their center axis called the equator in preparation for separation during anaphase. Finally, in anaphase sister chromatids separate and move to opposite poles followed by cytokinesis where cytoplasmic material divides equally between the new cells. The cell cycle plays an essential role in maintaining normal tissue growth and development as well as providing a mechanism for repair following injury or damage to tissues. In multicellular organisms such as humans, it also creates populations of identical cells that are specialized to perform specific functions within tissues or organs based on their genetic information from DNA replication during S phase (or synthesis) of interphase. This process allows for highly organized processes like embryogenesis which involves complex differentiation between multiple types of cells with distinct functions over time leading up to birth when all types are present in appropriate numbers ready for life outside the womb. In addition to its importance in creating new life forms, aberrant regulation of this critical pathway can lead to serious consequences including cancer formation due to uncontrolled proliferation caused by mutations at any point during phases such as G1/S transitions or exit from mitosis back into G0 state (where no further divisions take place). Therefore it’s important that proper control mechanisms be maintained so these errors don’t occur; fortunately researchers have been able to identify checkpoints throughout each stage that act like speed bumps slowing down progression until conditions are just right before allowing passage through them again – thus preventing disasters like tumorigenesis.