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How Do Cells Develop?

We all know what a cell is, but how does one of our cells develop to create an entire body? There are approximately 37.2 trillion cells in our human body; isn’t that insane? So, how do cells develop?

Generic image of Cells

How Do Cells Develop?

Division of Cells

To reproduce, most cells go through a process known as mitosis, or the division of cells. Mitosis creates two cells from one original cell. From that original cell comes two identical copies.
Mitosis visualisation

In mitosis, one cell divides to create two separate cells.

Stages of Mitosis

There are five phases in mitosis – prophase, metaphase, anaphase, telophase, and interphase. Prophase is the process of preparing the cell for mitosis. In metaphase, two chromosomes connect with long strings called spindle fibers. In anaphase, the two pairs of chromosomes go separate ways and split. The division comes to an end in telophase with the formation of two separate cells. Each of these separate cells carries half of the original DNA. In interphase, the two cells are completely separate and act like normal cells.

Stem Cells

Stem cells are special. They have the ability to take on many different cell functions. It can either remain as a stem cell or have a specialized function such as a liver cell or a white blood cell. Stem cells are essential to your growth as an embryo in your mom’s stomach. They are responsible for the production of all the different baby organs and tissues in the body.

Stem cells are the most flexible cells in the human body since they can take on several different functions.

The Death of Cells

Now that we’ve covered mitosis and stem cells, we have an idea on how cells group together to carry out the necessary functions of our body. But, all cells have limited lifespans and die. Cells die when they become damaged or their internal DNA encounters problems. They will self-destruct in a process known as apoptosis (cell suicide). Scientists hope to use the mechanism behind apoptosis to target cancer cells.
An Image of the destruction of a cell.

A cell slowly begins to self-destruct and disintegrates into several microscopic particles.

Written by: Varsha Rammohan