I wonder what toys you enjoyed playing with most when you were younger? What were the most popular ones? What were the most colourful ones? What were the most entertaining ones?
I wanted to help you understand the human cell cycle by using some of the most memorable and iconic toys to help me explain. They are toys that have stood the test of time and that while they are not played with in the same way today, they still have something to teach us.
Imagine the complete human cell as a marble which has travelled inside the body, twisting and turning, inverting and reverting on the way to its final destination. (Marble lands in pile).
DNA can be likened to a tiny mass of spaghetti which grows into a ball like structure. This part of the interphase is known as the Growth Phase.
The ball like structure expands, reproducing itself two times. This part of the interphase is known as the S Phase.
Now you see the expandable ball that you might have played with, at its peak. The DNA is the structure and it begins to prepare for Mitosis and cell
DuRing the first stage of Mitosis, Prophase, the chromosomes become visible and condense to become shorter and thicker. I was reminded of the plastic, sticky people or bugs that you threw against the wall and then watched walk down.
Initially they are randomly floating around but somehow become more synchronised when they move into Metaphase. In this phase they seem to perform a routine and move like trapeze artists, teetering before standing on each other's shoulders!
The spindle fibres act like the tightrope and hold them securely at each sister chromative.
The Anaphase takes place when the fibres perform a ' tug of war' and separate the chromatids.
The spindle fibres pull the chromatids to the edge before they disappear and a small mass of spaghetti remains.
Cytokinesis occurs when two identical cells are formed and a new human cell cycle commences.