Cell division

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Cell division is the process by which a cell, called the parent cell, divides into two cells, called daughter cells.[1] When the cell divides, everything inside it divides also. The nucleus and the chromosomes divide, and the mitochondria divide also. There are two types of cell division. In mitosis, ordinary body (somatic) cells divide; in meiosis cells divide to produce gametes (sex cells).[2]

Three types of cell division: left is binary fission as in bacteria; mitosis & meiosis for eukaryotes

Cells are the 'building blocks' of life, and cell division is a basic feature of life. For simple unicellular organisms like amoeba, one cell division reproduces the entire organism. On a larger scale, cell division can create offspring from multicellular organisms, such as plants that grow from cuttings. But most importantly, cell division enables organisms that are able to sexually reproduce to develop from the one-celled fertilised egg zygote. After growth, cell division allows for continual renewal and repair of the organism. And binary fission is where a cell splits in two.

References[change | edit source]

  1. Maton A. Hopkins J.J. LaHart S. David Q. Warner D. Wright J.D. 1997. Cells: building blocks of life. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
  2. Morgan D.O. 2007. The cell cycle: principles of control. London: New Science Press.