The Purpose of Mitosis

Mitosis is a process in biology where eukaryotic cells and their nuclei divide to produce two cells, identical to the first.  There are a few steps in this process.  Mitosis is an important part of biology and is the way that reproductive cells can divide to eventually produce a fully formed baby.

In Mitosis, the initial step in the process is called Interphase.  In this step, the cell is simply getting ready for the mitosis process.  It does this by beginning to increase its metabolic activity.  If you were to look under a microscope at the cell, you would observe a undefined nucleus in the centre of the cell which is known as the nucleolus.

The next stage in mitosis is the prophase.  This is the step where the nucleolus from the interphase stage fades away and instead, looking under a microscope would show protein called chromatin beginning to form chromosomes in the nucleus of the cell.  You would also see centrioles which are fibers reaching across the cell, forming something called a mitotic spindle.

The membrane around the nucleus dissipates in the prometaphase stage.  This dissolving of the membrane allows proteins to get to the nucleus and the chromosomes start to have some movement.

Once the microtubules in the prometaphase have produced kinetochores in the cell, the Metaphase can begin.  In this step, the spindle fibers of the prophase step create a metaphase plate across the centre of the cell’s nucleus.  This is the preparation for the next step where the chromosomes are split.

The anaphase step follows, and this step splits the chromosomes in the cells nucleus using the kinetochores eukaryotic of the previous stage.  This sends the chromosomes to the opposite sides of the cell.  Special gravitational fields that are created within the cell allows the chromosomes to be attracted to move to the necessary portion of the cell.

Once the chromosomes in the nucleus have split, chromatids follow them.  These chromatids are responsible for forming a new nucleus membrane around the chromosomes to maintain them.  Because the chromosomes are now encased in the new cell nuclei, you will not be able to see them any more.  The spindle that was used to split the nucleus is no longer required, so that simply disintegrates.  Once this has occurred, the cell containing 2 nuclei can now be split in 2.

The final step of mitosis is called cytokinesis and this is the step that ultimately splits the cell in 2, resulting in 2 identical cells.  Actin, which is a cell protein, forms a ring which closes around the cell between the 2 nuclei.  This is what splits the cell in half.