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What are the four phases of mitosis?

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Quick Answer

The four phases of mitosis are prophase, metaphase, anaphase and telophase. Each stage has its own process.

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Mitosis Overview

Mitosis is a form of cell division where one cell divides and creates two identical cells. The original cell is the called the parent cell, and the new cells are called daughter cells. The body uses mitosis for growth as our bodies mature and for repair. A cut or scrape requires mitosis of the nearest skin cells in order to heal. In general, there are four main phases in the mitosis process.

Prophase

The first stage of mitosis, prophase begins with DNA condensation. The chromosomes shorten and the nucleoli disappear. To prepare for organizing the chromosomes, the nuclear membrane breaks down as well.

Metaphase

In metaphase, the chromosomes line up in the middle of the cell by the newly formed spindle fibers. These fibers ensure that the DNA is placed in pairs so that each new cell will get one copy of each chromosome.

Anaphase

During anaphase the chromosomes separate, dividing evenly to both sides of the cell. These chromatids are now called daughter cells.

Telophase

The final stage of mitosis, the previous steps occur in reverse in telophase. The chromosomes decondense and grow longer, a new nuclear membrane forms, and nucleoli reappear. The cell division is now complete and two new cells have been formed.

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