The Cell Cycle: Détente

The Cell Cycle is a series of articles on the mechanisms and substances that regulate cell growth. The contemporary cell climate is one of constant biological and cultural high pressure to grow, to proliferate, to expand and conquer. The Incredible Shrinking Man wants to investigate how to relax and reverse this climate.

In order to grow, organisms produce cells. To do so it duplicates cells in a proces called the cell-division cycle. This cycle is the series of events that take place in a cell leading to the production of two daughter cells. The cell cycle can be divided into four periods. 1.Gap Zero is a resting phase where the cell has left the cycle, stopped dividing and goes into a state of quiescence. 2.During interphase the cell grows, accumulating nutrients needed for mitosis preparing for cell division and duplication of its DNA. 3.In the mitotic phase the cell splits itself into two distinct daughter cells. 4.During the final stage, cytokinesis, the new cell is completely divided. The organism is now bigger. But how do we avoid unwanted growth? How do we stimulate cells to grow within certain limits but not beyond? How can we slow down the cycle if this is beneficial to the organism? How do we start to become The Incredible Shrinking Man?

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