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Cell cycle

Regulated biochemical steps that cells go through involving DNA replication and cell division; the life cycle of a cell.


The period between cell divisions, when growth and preparation for the next cell division occurs. The longest part of the cell cycle.


The first stage of mitosis, when DNA condenses into chromosomes, and the nuclear membrane disappears.


The second stage of mitosis, when chromosomes line up in the middle of the cell.


The third stage of mitosis, when spindle fibers pull the chromatids apart to the opposite ends of the parent cell.


The final stage in mitosis, when new nuclear membranes form around the two groups of chromosomes in the parent cell; followed by cytokinesis.


The division of the cell nucleus into two nuclei.


A tightly coiled package of DNA around a protein.

Asexual reproduction

The creation of a new organism from one parent without the fusion of gametes.


Asexual reproduction of some organisms, when the new organism is growing off the side of the parent organism. Eventually the two separate, forming a new organism.


Regrowth of lost tissue or organs through asexual reproduction of cells.

Sexual reproduction

The creation of a new organism from two parents with the fusion of gametes.


Reproductive cell from the male parent, produced in the testes; it is a haploid cell.


Reproductive cell from the female parent, produced in the ovaries; it is a haploid cell.


Special division of the cell nucleus to create sex cells.


The fusion of egg and sperm.


The cell that forms in fertilization; it is a diploid cell.

Haploid cell

A cell with half the normal number of chromosomes

Diploid cell

A cell with the normal number of chromosomes.


A double stranded nucleic acid that contains all the necessary information for a cell to function. It is shaped like a double helix.

Nitrogen base

The building blocks for nucleic acids; there are five types: adenine, thymine, cytosine, guanine, and uracil.


A segment of DNA that carries the information necessary to make a molecule, usually a protein.


A single stranded nucleic acid that is used to synthesize proteins.


A permanent change in the genetic sequence of a cell.


The process where RNA is synthesized from the information contained in DNA.


The process where the genetic information coded into RNA directs the formation of a specific protein.


A tightly coiled package of DNA around a protein.

Homologous chromosomes

A pair of chromosomes that carry similar or identical information.

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