Friday, January 14, 2011

A Blog About Meiosis

I think new borns are extremely weird looking. Like little aliens. At an embryonic 12 weeks, they are even more frightening. I once told my friend that I thought at that point in the gestation period they looked like predators. Like Alien Vs. Predator. They frighten me. It's hard to believe that at one point that weird little red thing was once just an even littler gamete. Beginning as gametes, then they're a zygote with a diploid, then it turns to a haploid cell. It's like mitosis, but this creates what become little kids who become adults who make more little kids. So I was curious and decided to research how to make a baby!

Step 1 (AKA Prophase 1): A diploid cell splits, making four haploid daughter cells (this is what creates genetic diversity). The paired chromosomes are called chiasmata, which are caused by genetic recombination.

Step 2 (Prometaphase 1): One kinetochore (the protein structure where chromosomes attach) forms for each chromosome and the chromosomes begin to move.

Step 3 (Metaphase 1): The two chromosomes, now bivalents, line up at the metaphase plate. At this point there is a 50/50 chance that  the daughter cells will get either the mother or father's feature.

Step 4 (Anaphase 1): The daughter cells become haploid cells after chiasmata separate (chiasmata is where the cells exchange DNA).

Step 5 (Telophase 1): The cell either reforms or starts meiosis 2.

Step 6 (Cytokinesis): This is where the two daughter cells form.

There we have it, meiosis! This process keeps happening in men, but in women it doesn't continue until an egg is fertilized. Which will be continued in a separate blog on.... meiosis II.... DUN DUN DUN!

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