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Stages of Mitosis

The process of mitosis can be easily visualized using traditional light microscopy. This is due to the fact that condensed chromosomes take up stains very strongly. Here we used a cultured epithelial cell line stained with immunofluorescent antibodies for actin and microtubules and a DNA-specific dye for chromosomes.

The process of mitosis is only one phase of the cell cycle [synthesis (S), gap2 (G2), mitosis (M), gap1(G1)]. It is, however, the most dramatic to the naked eye. The process of mitosis is traditionally divided into four main phases, which are arbitrary divisions of a continuous process. They are: prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase. Characteristic cells showing prophase, metaphase, and anaphase are presented.

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