All people, you and I included, are made up of trillions of cells, but as in all other organisms, they arose from a single cell. No matter what the cell, all cells arise from preexisting cells via cell division1. Cells divide so living things can grow, to replace old, dead and damaged cells2.
Depending on the type, there are two ways for a cell to divide-mitosis and meiosis. In mitosis, one “parent” cell divides into two identical “daughter” cells with the same number of chromosomes. In meiosis, one cell divides into four cells with half the number of chromosomes.
Mitosis is how somatic cells divide3. Mitosis is divided up into five phases: prophase, metaphase, anaphase, telophase and cytokinesis. During prophase, chromosomes are condensed and become visible, the DNA is replicated forming sister chromatids and the membrane surrounding the nucleus breaks down. In addition, the fibers (spindles) that will ultimately pull the chromatids to either side of the cell begin to form and the centrosomes, which form the spindles, begin to move toward opposite ends of the cell. In metaphase, all of the chromatids line up down the center of the cell and are attached to spindles originating from opposite poles of the cell. During anaphase, sister chromatids are split and each piece becomes a full chromosome which is pulled toward opposite poles as the cell begins to elongate. In telophase, the chromosomes arrive at opposite ends of the elongating cell and a nuclear membrane begins to form around them. The spindles begin to break down but continue to elongate the cell. Finally, during cytokinesis, the cell membrane forms a cleavage furrow separating into two cells and mitosis is complete2,3.
Meiosis is the second way cells divide, forming male sperm and female egg cells called gametes, which allows for the creation of new organisms. It is important to remember that meiosis creates cells with a unique set of genetic information and is the reason we have genetic diversity2. This genetic diversity is primarily produced by chromosomal recombination, or crossing over, in which the arms of chromosomes randomly swap pieces of chromosomes creating many possibilities for genetic variation4. Meiosis involves two cycles of cell division, Meiosis I and Meiosis II. Meiosis I halves the number of chromosomes, after chromosomal duplication and recombination, and then Meiosis II halves the number of chromosomes again. The result is four daughter cells (gametes) called haploids, containing only one set of chromosomes or half the chromosomes of the parent cell3,4. The two cycles of meiosis are identical to the processes in mitosis except that meiosis II does not duplicate the chromosomes before splitting.
Every hour of every day, the cells of your body are constantly dividing and reproducing. This creates the ability to grow and heal as well as the reproduction and genetic diversity of the human race. The ability of cells to divide is unique for living organisms. Bethyl manufactures many antibodies to proteins involved in all phases of cell division in both mitosis and meiosis.
Detection of human Aurora B (red) in formaldehyde-fixed HeLa cells by ICC-IF. Antibody: Rabbit anti-Aurora B (A300-431A). Secondary: DyLight® 594-conjugated goat anti-rabbit IgG (A120-201D4). Counterstain: DAPI (blue).
Below is the current list of Bethyl antibodies involved in cell division: