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AVE, LECTOR

You know what’s cool?

MITOSIS.

YEAH.

We all in a…wait, I forgot, not everyone knows what mitosis is.  Derp.

/science pose

SO YOU HAVE A CELL.

Everyone knows what a cell is, right?  A little tiny squishy thing filled with water/salt/proteins [cough cough cytoplasm cough cough] surrounded by a double layer of phospholipids [or ‘cellular membrane’ or just ‘cell outsides’ or ‘stuff’] with more tiny squishy things inside it.

OF COURSE I’m talking about EUKARYOTIC cells, animal cells (to be precise); prokaryotic cells are just weird and plant cells are less squishy and more castle-like, with rigid walls and a bearded guy with a crown inside.

SO NORMALLY THIS CELL JUST CHILLS.

NOMALLY there is no problem, everything’s good, you’ve got a diploid cell (I WILL NOT EXPLAIN THAT, because I feel like being mean) with a metric ****ton of genetic material floating all wibbly-wobbly in the nucleus.  And it goes about its business.

The DNA wanders around with its shirts unbuttoned and its hair crazy, transcribing all these random ideas onto codex pages, and the mRNA is like “okay, fine,” and takes it outside to the ribosomes, and they say “WHAT IS THIS, THIS IS NOT ENGLISH,” and then the ribosomes (with the help of Leonardo Da Vinci) translate the information into something that ANYONE CARES ABOUT, SPECIFICALLY HIDDEN BLADES PROTEINS.

AND SOME OF THESE proteins are made in the ENDOPLASMIC MOTHER******** RETICULUM, (technical term) and passed along to the Golgi Apparatus, which I swear by the chitinous appendages of our crustacean overlords is legitimately its name.

Then the Gogi Apparatus blows bubbles called VESICLES with the protein inside and the protein goes out in the vesicles and IT GETS SHIT DONE.

ANYWAY.

All this goes on, normally, day to day, and life goes on.  UNTIL ONE DAY the cell gets the bright idea “HEY, wouldn’t it be CATEGORICALLY AWESOME if there was more than one of me?”

SO THEN, these structures called CENTROSOMES (two of them, sitting alongside the nucleus like nerds hover-handing at a convention) start to wake up. AND WE ENTER WHAT IS KNOWN AS the PROPHASE of mitosis.

IN THE PROPHASE

The wibbly/wobbly DNA stuff in the nucleus gets its shit together and pulls into a cohesive shape, because THAT’S HELPFUL.

The NUCLEAR MEMBRANE, also known as THE MOST BADASS-SOUNDING PART OF THE CELL, then begins to disintegrate, because something as badass as a NUCLEAR MEMBRANE can’t just go away, it has to DISINTEGRATE.

The CENTROSOMES then become LIVING INCARNATIONS OF THE FLYING SPAGHETTI MONSTER, organizing a SERIES OF TUBES (like the internet, only micro-sized) into what looks like either a spindle or a cob of corn.

THESE TENTACLES (also known as MICROTUBULES, in case you didn’t get that) reach out and MOLEST GRAB ON TO parts of the cell’s chromosomes (WHICH, for the uninitiated, are nothing important, only THE MEANS BY WHICH ALL LIFE CONTINUES TO EXIST).

THEN, while the centrosomes continue to grope grasp the chromosomes, the chromosomes decide to be nice and THEY LINE UP along the center of the cell, AS IF THEY WERE SQUARE DANCING.  THIS PERIOD IS KNOWN AS METAPHASE, because SQUARE DANCING IS VERY META.

AND NOW WE COME TO THE ANAPHASE, where the centrosomes finally are like “HULK SMASH” and rip the chromosomes in half.  THAT PHASE ENDS QUICKLY and next comes the

TELOPHASE, where the halves separate and go to opposite ends of the cell, presumably flying through the air to slam into the phospholipid bilayer (accompanied by a laugh track).

The NUCLEAR MEMBRANE coalesces again around each pile of dismembered chromosomes, and the centrosomes retract their noodly appendages microtubules.

AND TECHNICALLY that’s the end of mitosis, but THE FUN ISN’T OVER YET.  What remains is the process of CYTOKINESIS, where the cellular membrane goes all like WHOA and pinches the cell in half, dividing up the cytoplasm more (or less) evenly.

BUT TADA, that’s done and NOW YOU HAVE TWO GENETICALLY IDENTICAL CELLS, and then they go back to their boring business of GETTING SHIT DONE.

ANYWAY, so THAT’S COOL.

Know what else is cool?  THE MATRIX.

BUT THAT’S NOT PARTICULARLY RELATED TO WHAT I WANT TO TALK ABOUT.

And WHAT DO I WANT TO TALK ABOUT? THAT’S A GOOD QUESTION.

Since I’ve just sat here for twenty minutes staring at the page, APPARENTLY NOTHING ELSE.

WELL THAT WAS ANTICLIMACTIC.

HAVE A NICE DAY.

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2 Comments

  1. *LIKE
    -collapses- may i share this with my home-school-teacher/dad? it’s his dream to inspire students into coming up with this sort of fantastic, intellectual, philosophical banter.


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