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Name: Jim
Status: student
Age: 19
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 2000-2001

I am a student at the Illinois Institute of Art at Chicago and am taking a Human Biology course. The reason for the e-mail is to ask a question or get a comment on the process of Mitosis. I am doing a creative project for the course on Mitosis where I will act as head designer for a CD-ROM on Mitosis that a made-up company has produced. In order for me to continue the work on the project I was just curious as to what could be related art-wise in forming a package design for a CD-ROM on Mitosis? Being a scientist, I would really appreciate your knowledgable response of where to begin or what I should first look at? One other question I had was which are the most important stages in the process of Mitosis, in other words, what are the key steps or most interesting parts to the Mitosis process? I would like to use the information you may provide in the creation of my final creative project.


The principle steps of mitosis and cell cytoplasm division is well documented. Prophase, metaphase, anaphase and telophase. However, you may wish to include the fact that mitosis is one of several steps of the cell cycle. You may be presented with the term "interphase or resting stage" and this stage is not really mitosis but the growth of the cell and synthesis of DNA after and before mitosis. The actually division of the cell is cytokinesis and is really not part of the mitotic activity.

If you are trying to develop a feel for mitosis for drawing purposes, I would request an expert from the publisher. Or find a biology textbook or search the Internet for diagrams and pictures of the process.

Steve Sample
York Community High School
Elmhurst, Illinois

For the basic steps, find a general biology textbook. Mitosis is an incredibly important process, and I'm sure you'll find pictures and a much more complete description than I can give you here. Be sure to notice the distinctions between mitosis and meiosis.

Mitosis is the process of cell division. That process is tightly controlled during development and growth to set up a body plan, and later to replace cells at appropriate rates as they get old. Cell division is turned on and off at appropriate times by molecular switches. If those switches get messed up, cell division is uncontrolled and can result in cell death or in tumors.

For artwork suggestions, that would depend on the content of the CD. You're a bit limited if it's simply an animated description of the process. But if it talks about tumor formation and theories behind cancer treatments, you'd have lots of options.

Christine Ticknor
Ph.D. Student
Yale University
New Haven, Connecticut

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