Mitosis and the cell cycle

Mitosis

Cells divide when:

  • an organism grows
  • an organism becomes damaged and needs to produce new cells

It is essential that any new cells produced contain genetic information that is identical to the parent cell.

The cell cycle

A growing and dividing cell goes through a series of stages called the cell cycle.

The first stages of the cell cycle involve cell growth, then synthesis of new DNA, to replicate the original DNA. The single strand of DNA that makes up each chromosome produces an exact copy of itself.

The first stages of the cell cycle involve cell growth, then synthesis of DNA. The single strand of DNA that makes up each chromosome produces an exact copy of itself.Mitosis is part of the cell cycleThe cell undergoes a type of cell division called mitosis

In mitosis, two cells called daughter cells are produced, each identical to the parent cell.

When looking at cells with a microscope, the length of different stages of the cell cycle can be estimated using the formula:

\text{Length of phase} = \frac{\text{number of cells at that state}}{\text{total number of cells}} \times \text{total length of time in cell cycle}