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Mitosis



Mitosis
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.38

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    anaphase, centromeres, chromotids, cytokinesis, diploid, interphase, metaphase, prophase, replication, telophase, cytoplasm, eukaryotic, nucleus, chromosome, mitosis, original


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Mitosis
By Cindy Grigg
  

1     Cells multiply by dividing. The process known as cell division allows living things to grow bigger. Cell division also helps living things replace old or injured cells. When one cell divides, it splits into two new cells. The two new cells are called daughter cells.
 
2     A human body cell contains 46 (that's two sets) chromosomes. This is called the diploid number of chromosomes. One set of 23 chromosomes came originally from your father while the other set came from your mother. These 46 chromosomes contain all the genetic information to make you, you. As you grow or your body needs repairing, your cells divide. If you think of chromosomes as a way of packaging DNA, then mitosis is a way of making sure that the chromosomes and the DNA they contain are split equally when a cell divides.
 
3     Before a eukaryotic cell (that's a cell with a true nucleus) divides, the genetic material in the nucleus of the cell copies itself. When the cell divides, the genetic material divides in half so that each daughter cell gets genetic material that is the same as the parent cell's genetic material. The dividing of the nuclear material is known as mitosis. In the last stage of cell division, the cytoplasm divides as well. That is known as cytokinesis. There are now two complete cells where there used to be one.

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