Cell Division SE – bio PDF free download

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Student Exploration: Cell Division

Vocabulary: cell division, centriole, centromere, chromatid, chromatin, chromosome, cytokinesis, DNA, interphase, mitosis

Prior Knowledge Questions (Do these BEFORE using the Gizmo.)

  1. Cells reproduce by splitting in half, a process called cell division. What do cells need to do between divisions to make sure that they don’t just get smaller and smaller?

They need to grow

  1. The genetic information of a cell is carried in its DNA (short for deoxyribonucleic acid). What do cells need to do between divisions to make sure that a full set of DNA gets passed on to each daughter cell?

The DNA must be copied so there is a full set of DNA to pass on to each daughter cell.

Gizmo Warm-up On the SIMULATION pane of the Cell Division Gizmo, check that the Cycle Length is set to 12 hours. Click Play ( ), observe until the maximum number of cells is shown, and then click Pause ( ).

  1. Look at the cells. Do they all look the same? Yes

  2. Cells that are in the process of dividing are said to be in mitosis or cytokinesis. Cells that are not dividing are in interphase.

Check the Magnify box and move the cursor over the cells.

A. Of the 100 cells shown, how many are in the process of dividing? 20

B. Select the BAR CHART tab, and turn on Show numerical values. How many cells

are in the interphase stage of their life cycle? 80

C. Based on these two observations, would you say that a cell spends most of its life

cycle in interphase or in mitosis/cytokinesis? Interphase

Activity A:

Phases of the cell cycle

Get the Gizmo ready:

 Click Reset ( ).  Select the DESCRIPTION tab.  Click on the right arrow once so that Interphase is shown.

Question: What are the stages of the cell cycle?

  1. Observe : Click Play and hold the cursor over the cell. Observe the cell as it divides several times. (This happens quickly!) What do you notice happening during this process?

You can see the chromosomes line up then separate and then you see two nucleuses then the cell splits.

  1. Summarize : On the DESCRIPTION pane, read about each phase in the cell cycle. In the spaces below, sketch the cell in each phase and summarize what occurs in your own words.

Phase Sketch Summary

Interphase The cell grows and develops, developing organelles and copying its DNA


The nuclear membrane dissolves away, the chromatin condenses into chromosomes. Spindle fibers form between the centrioles, which move to opposite ends of the cell.

Metaphase The spindle fibers pull the chromosomes to line them up on the equator.


The chromosomes are split apart by the fibers, and the chromatids move to opposite sides of the cell.

Telophase A nucleus forms around each of the chromosomes and they unwind into chromatin.

Activity B:

Duration of phases

Get the Gizmo ready:  Click Reset.  Select the TABLE tab.

Question: What is the relative duration of each phase of the cell cycle?

  1. Collect data : Set the Cycle Length to 10 hours and click Play. Click Pause when the maximum number of cells has been reached. On the TABLE tab, click Record data.

Record the number of cells in each phase of the cell cycle in the table below. Then click Play , wait for a while, and click Record data again. Repeat this process until you have recorded four sets of results, and then find the average number of cells in each phase.

Trial Interphase Prophase Metaphase Anaphase Telophase Cytokinesis 1 78 10 3 2 3 4

2 80 10 3 3 3 1 3 82 10 3 1 2 2 4 80 11 3 1 3 2

Avg. 80 10.25 3 1.75 2.75 2.

  1. Analyze : Which phase of the cell cycle is longest? Interphase Shortest? Anaphase

Explain your answers: The more cells in that cycle the longer it takes and the less cells the

shorter it take

  1. Calculate : You can use your data to estimate the duration of ea ch phase of the cell cycle. For example, if 8% of the cells were in prophase and the cell cycle was 10 hours long, then prophase would last 8% of 10 hours, or 0.8 hours (48 minutes).

Use percentages to estimate the duration of each phase of the cell cycle. Show your work.

Interphase: 0.845×10=8.45 8hr27min

Prophase: 0.077×10=0.77 46.2min

Metaphase: 0.01×10= 0.1 6min

Anaphase: 0.025×10=0.25 15min

Telophase: 0.02×10=0.2 12min

Cytokinesis: 0.03×10=0.3 18min


Cell populations

Get the Gizmo ready:  Click Reset.  Select the GRAPH tab.  Set the Cycle Length to 5 hours.

Question: How quickly do cells multiply?

  1. Collect data : Click Play to start a new simulation. Click Pause when the maximum number of cells is reached. View the total number of cells on the GRAPH tab. (Click the “–” button until the whole graph is visible.)

Draw a sketch of this graph here.

What is the general shape of the graph?


  1. Analyze : Look closely at the graph.

A. About how long did it take to grow the first 20 cells? 25 hrs

B. About how long did it take to grow the last 20 cells? 2 hrs

C. Would you say the rate of cell growth is increasing or decreasing? Explain.

It is increasing because it requires less and less time to produce 20 cells. Plus the graph of the growth increases in slope continuously

  1. Extend your thinking : In living organisms, the cell cycle is closely regulated. What do you think will happen if cell division is not controlled?

If it is not controlled, cells can either produce too many cells too quickly, which can for abscesses and masses in the body, which can pressure and harm other parts and block functions. If they produce too little, the body will be deprived of cells that complete a certain function, which would harm homeostasis.


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