Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Reminder: Know Your Cell Phases

Don't embarrass yourself getting all confused about the phases. Wield the power of acronyms! Ok. What can we make with IPMAT? Hmmm Inter. Pro. Meta. Ana. Telo..... I got it! Memorize this phrase... INTERnet PROfessionals whisper METAphors to ANA on the TELOphone. Then just ad your "-phases" to the end and your all set. Now there is no excuse! INTERnet PROfessionals whisper METAphors to ANA on the TELOphone!

The life cycle of the cell is typically divided into 5 major phases. The phases are listed below, along with the major events that occur during each phase Quoted from Source
Interphase. The cell is engaged in metabolic activity and performing its duty as part of a tissue. The DNA duplicates during interphase to prepare for mitosis (the next four phases that lead up to and include nuclear division). Chromosomes are not clearly discerned in the nucleus, although a dark spot called the nucleolus may be visible.
Prophase. Chromatin in the nucleus begins to condense and becomes visible in the light microscope as chromosomes. The nuclear membrane dissolves, marking the beginning of prometaphase. Proteins attach to the centromeres creating the kinetochores. Microtubules attach at the kinetochores and the chromosomes begin moving.
Metaphase. Spindle fibers align the chromosomes along the middle of the cell nucleus. This line is referred to as the metaphase plate. This organization helps to ensure that in the next phase, when the chromosomes are separated, each new nucleus will receive one copy of each chromosome.
Anaphase. The paired chromosomes separate at the kinetochores and move to opposite sides of the cell. Motion results from a combination of kinetochore movement along the spindle microtubules and through the physical interaction of polar microtubules.
Telophase. New membranes form around the daughter nuclei while the chromosomes disperse and are no longer visible under the light microscope. Cytokinesis or the partitioning of the cell may also begin during this stage.

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