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Cell duplication

Posted on 2005-05-15
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How does Cell Duplication work?

I don't get how a mass can just be created; where does it originate from? As mass is proportional to it's energy, and we all know that you can't just create energy .. I'm really confused about this how thing. Please enlighten me. :-)

Rob.
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Question by:InteractiveMind
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ID: 14006905
Cells have metabolism - they "eat and grow". The components to build the new cell are already present inside the first one and they're used up in the process. The combined mass of the new cells will equal the first one.
/RID
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Author Comment

ID: 14006921
So, if a single cell was to duplicate into 2, and those 2 were to duplicate into another 2, and so on; until there was (for example) 16 cells ... each one of those cells would equal one 16th of the first cell?
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rid earned 2000 total points
ID: 14006928
Well, probably not. The cells will sort of grow during the observation time, I gather. I think they need a functioning metabolism to duplicate, meaning they need to have access to whatever they use for "food" to be able to synthesize the building blocks of the new set of chromosomes etc etc that are created in the process.
/RID
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ID: 14006937
That makes sense. Thank you.  :-)
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ID: 14006998
My pleasure...
Cheers
/RID
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Expert Comment

ID: 14011278
>> So, if a single cell was to duplicate into 2, and those 2 were to duplicate into another 2, and so on; until there were
(for example) 16 cells ... each one of those cells would equal one 16th of the first cell?

Sometimes.  A chicken egg is a single cell.  When it's fully developed, the baby chick has millions of cells, but it still fits inside the shell.  This development takes place in a more or less closed environment.  The shell is permeable to gas an water vapor, but all the nutrients required are in the egg from the beginning.

RID's explanation is correct for single cell animals (like paramecea), and the later stages of embyonic development in mammals.
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ID: 14011593
Thank you, d-glitch.  :-)
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