Mitosis and The Cell Cycle

Cells Have Lives Too

Every living thing is made of cells, and these cells grow, eat, live, and die just like the things they make up, like people. In fact, Bacteria are living things composed of only a single cell. The continuous process of growth, division (called mitosis), and death (called apoptosis) is called the Cell Cycle, and it is followed by all but the most abnormal cells, such as cancer cells, which do not die, with potentially deadly consequences for you.

Cell Cycle

So, what does being a living thing entail for the cell? For one, it requires food to keep living and carrying out its role in the body. For another, it can grow...and die. As a cell grows it reaches a point where it is contains two copies of DNA inside it and divides all the cell components into two copies in a process known as Mitosis. The diagram to the left gives an outline the stages of the cycle.

Mitosis Quiz

To check your memory/understanding, arrange the names and images of the stages of mitosis in the proper order. When placed in the correct box, the box will turn yellow.

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Name of Mitosis Stage

Image of the Mitosis Stage

Mitosis Information

Mitsos is the dividing stage of the cell. The process allows the cell to split half of itself off to make what is hopefully an exact copy. Failure to divide properly usually results in death for both new and old cell. In fact, causing problems with Mitosis is the primary source of Cancer Treatments. As the cell divides it goes through phases as well. These phases are: Prophase, Metaphase, Anaphase, and Telophase. Each step brings the cell closer to being divided and at the end of Telophase two cells are formed. The following images were taken using cells labeled in different colors to identify parts of the cells.
Red Objects - Are Centrosomes that are pulling the cell apart.
Blue Objects- Are DNA.
Green Objects - Are microtubules that maintain cell shape and attach DNA to the centrosome(s).

Click on the title to see a graphical representation rather than an image, and select the back arrow to return to an image form.

Prophase <

In Prophase, cells condense DNA in the nucleus into chromosomes and form the centrosomes that will help pull the cell in two.

Metaphase <

In Metaphase, the nucleus has dissolved and chromosomes line up along the center of the cell, ready to be pulled apart.

Anaphase <

In Anaphase, the chromosomes and half of the other cellular machinery (Ribsosomes, Mitochondria, etc.) are pulled into each of the new cells.

Telophase <

In Telophase, the cells have mostly separated and the cell membrane "pinches" to form two new cells.


Use these buttons to switch between learning about Mitosis Information and taking the Mitosis Quiz.