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Cell Cycle

The life of a cell from the time it is first formed from a dividing parent cell until its own division into two cells

somatic cell

All body cells except the reproductive cells


Reproductive cells (sperm and egg cells)

sister chromatid

Two chromatids each containing an identical DNA molecule


The region where two chromatids are attached


The division of the cell's nucleus


The division of the cytoplasm right after mitosis


90% of the cell cycle where cells grow and copy chromosomes in preparation for cell division

G1 phase

The phase of the cell cycle where the cell grows

S Phase

The phase of the cell cycle that copies chromosomes

G2 phase

The phase of the cell cycle where the cell grows more as it completes preparations for cell division


The phase of mitosis where the chromatin becomes more tightly coiled into discrete chromosomes, the nucleoli disappears, and the mitotic spindle begins to form in the cytoplasm


The phase of mitosis where the nuclear envelope begins to fragment, the two chromatids of each chromosome are held together by a kinetochore at the centromere, and the microtubules attach to the kinetochores


The phase of mitosis where the microtubules move the chromosomes to the metaphase plate and the centrioles have moved to opposite poles in the cell


The phase of mitosis where sister chromatids begin to separate and the cell elongates with the help of motor molecules; by the end of this phase the opposite ends of the cell both contain complete and equal sets of chromosomes


The phase of mitosis where the nuclear envelopes re-form around the sets of chromosomes, the chromatin fiber of the chromosomes becomes less condensed, and then cytokinesis begins

Cell cycle control system

A system of checkpoints during the cell cycle that includes the G1 phase checkpoint, G2 phase checkpoint, and M (mitotic) phase checkpoint


The protein enzyme that controls the cell cycle; they exist in the cells at all times but are active only when they are connected to cyclin proteins

Density-dependent inhibition

The process in which crowded cells stop dividing

Anchorage dependency

A type of dependency in which normal cells must be attached to a substratum to divide

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