Cellular Fireworks : To celebrate #4thofjuly .

Cellular Fireworks : To celebrate #4thofjuly .

When a cell embarks on mitosis, the envelope around the nucleus disappears and long rods known as microtubules assemble to form a spindle. Chromosomes line up at the equator of this spindle and are pulled to opposite poles in a carefully orchestrated event driven by chemical gradients of key proteins in the cell. Images of Mitosis From L to R:

⁂ A protein, known as RanGTP (yellow), brings cargo to the neighborhood of the mitotic spindle (red) so it can be assembled. A gradient of this protein, spreading out from the chromosomes, is key to the perfect alignment of chromosomes along the equator of the spindle. http://goo.gl/EgQzv

⁂ Chromosomes (blue) are being pulled to opposite poles of four dividing cells of an embryo by the fibers of the mitotic spindle (orange). http://goo.gl/eKl62

⁂ Chromosomes (red) line up at the equator of the mitotic spindle (green). http://goo.gl/D1G9u


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40 Responses to Cellular Fireworks : To celebrate #4thofjuly .

  1. Sandy B says:

    I love your descriptions. They are so clear and precise compared to any teacher I had growing up.

  2. Hey, welcome back! Long time, no post. 🙂

  3. Rajini Rao says:

    Thanks, Sandra Berkshier , I just use my own words as I would tell it 🙂

    Víktor Bautista i Roca , finally returned home for a (hopefully) quiet summer after a hectic round of travels to conferences!

  4. You always seem to find the right biological processes for the occasion. Love it!

  5. Rajini Rao says:

    I was inspired by all the firework images on G+ today, thanks Raphael Ndem 🙂

  6. thanks for posting! very cool !

  7. Marta Rauch says:

    Rajini Rao cool. Thank you!


  8. Matt Kuenzel says:

    And each chromosome would be a few inches long if stretched out so alignment isn’t easy. I like this symbol: ⁂

  9. Rajini Rao says:

    Reminded me of fireworks, Matt Kuenzel 🙂

    Chromosome condensation and packaging must be so efficient, there must be some strategy behind folding the chromatin all up.

  10. Matt Kuenzel says:

    Cool, I hadn’t thought of that, nice analogy!

  11. Rajini Rao says:

     Ali Adelstein and Jose M. G. Guerreiro 🙂

  12. Kevin Clift says:

    Very interesting as usual Rajini Rao, thanks.  It is amazing how many such tiny mechanisms must work flawlessly so much of the time before we can hang around here tapping on a keyboard.

    Were these two shortened links supposed to point to the same spot or is there a small typo here?



  13. Rajini Rao says:

    Kevin Clift the short links were supposed to point to the individual images but they ended up on the tumblr page with multiple images. Anyway, one can click on the individual image to get the source and reference.

    As for mitosis, it was an interesting update for me to read and learn about opposing gradients and a push-pull mechanism that works to adjust the spindle and the chromosomes.

  14. Kevin Clift says:

    I see, thanks Rajini Rao.  Is this push/pull another example of Turing’s reaction/diffusion model?

  15. Rajini Rao says:

    It’s similar, Kevin Clift , but more complex because it involves at least two opposing gradients that make the spindle oscillate before these movements dampen and it comes to proper alignment. The paper is too jargon heavy and complicated, unfortunately, but here it is: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22327364

  16. Rajini Rao says:

    Aida Hazlan , thank you. It’s great to be back!

  17. Glad you’re here Rajini Rao & have a fun day. As usual, I am saving the links to come back later to read.

  18. Welcome back! Love the images they really look like fireworks!

  19. Rajini Rao says:

    Thanks, Buddhini Samarasinghe . Looking forward to ScienceSunday 🙂

  20. Hemant Dave says:

    Hi Rajini Rao … an excellent post after a long break…. thanks. Have a great day!

  21. Art imitates life! Wow…

  22. Rajini Rao says:

    J. DeRon Walker , an excellent observation, thanks.

  23. Will Hudson says:

    you ever been to uk?

  24. Rajini Rao says:

    Hey Will Hudson , yes I have been to the UK 🙂

  25. Your posts are the best! I’d spend more time here but [off topic] why can’t Google improve this interface?

  26. Rajini Rao says:

    I fix some of the more annoying Google interface issues with Chrome extensions, Jason Goodrow 🙂

  27. Yeah but … damn, they’re Google. A verb! iGoogle is a really good interface and going away and Google+ is the most underachieving … eh … sorry for the thread jack … keep up the good work!

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