What is mitosis?

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Mitosis is the scientific term for cell division. For various living organisms, the cells undergo mitosis for the purpose of growth and development. In the case of animals for example, cells need to divide in order to make room for more cells. The more cells are divided, the more cells will also be created for growth and development. Mitosis is also a process that helps the body replenish cells that literally die. Red blood cells for example have only a life span of as little as 4 months before being sloughed off. The human body needs red blood cells for various cellular functions and it is only through mitosis that red blood cells can be re-created. Regeneration is another process that can be achieved by mitosis. In the case of skin cuts and lacerations for example, parts of skin cells are damaged and lost. In order for the skin laceration to heal, many cells in the skin will undergo mitosis to produce or regenerate cells that can help close the wound.

Reproduction in animals and human beings is a classic example of mitosis. Before a baby is born, one egg cell from the woman and one sperm cell from the man will need to join in order to start the baby-making process. The ovum or the fertilized egg cell will then undergo mitosis as it travels from the fallopian tube to the woman’s uterus. Each single hour that passes by, the single-cell ovum will divide into hundreds, to thousands, and eventually millions of cells into forming the fetus or baby. Without mitosis or cell division, the ovum will not grow and become a fetus or a baby eventually.

In mitosis, the cells will divide with identical sets of chromosomes. The cell’s nucleus will basically become two identical parts. The two cells produced will become the so-called daughter cells with identical components. These two daughter cells will then go into mitosis and have their own daughter cells. With each cell division, the cells grow in number and their size literally grows bigger.

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