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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Karyokinesis \Kar"y*o*ki*ne`sis\ (k[a^]r`[i^]*[-o]*k[-i]*n[=e]"s[i^]s), n. [NL., fr. Gr. ka`ryon a nut, kernel + kinei^n to move.]

  1. (Biol.) The indirect division of cells in which, prior to division of the cell protoplasm, complicated changes take place in the nucleus, attended with movement of the nuclear fibrils; -- opposed to karyostenosis. The nucleus becomes enlarged and convoluted, and finally the threads are separated into two groups which ultimately become disconnected and constitute the daughter nuclei. Called also mitosis. See Cell development, under Cell.

  2. The changes that occur in the nucleus of a cell, especially movements of the chromosomes, in the process of cell division.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1887, coined in German from Greek mitos "warp thread" (see mitre) + Modern Latin -osis "act, process." Term introduced by German anatomist Walther Fleming (1843-1905) in 1882. So called because chromatin of the cell nucleus appears as long threads in the first stages.


n. (context cytology English) The division of a cell nucleus in which the genome is copied and separated into two identical halves. It is normally followed by cell division.


n. cell division in which the nucleus divides into nuclei containing the same number of chromosomes


In cell biology, Mitosis is a part of the cell cycle in which chromosomes in a cell nucleus are separated into two identical sets of chromosomes, and each set ends up in its own nucleus. In general, mitosis (division of the nucleus) is preceded by the S stage of interphase (during which the DNA is replicated) and is often accompanied or followed by cytokinesis, which divides the cytoplasm, organelles and cell membrane into two new cells containing roughly equal shares of these cellular components. Mitosis and cytokinesis together define the mitotic (M) phase of an animal cell cycle—the division of the mother cell into two daughter cells, genetically identical to each other and to their parent cell.

The process of mitosis is divided into stages corresponding to the completion of one set of activities and the start of the next. These stages are prophase, prometaphase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase. During mitosis, the chromosomes, which have already duplicated, condense and attach to spindle fibers that pull one copy of each chromosome to opposite sides of the cell. The result is two genetically identical daughter nuclei. The rest of the cell may then continue to divide by cytokinesis to produce two daughter cells. Producing three or more daughter cells instead of normal two is a mitotic error called tripolar mitosis or multipolar mitosis (direct cell triplication / multiplication). Other errors during mitosis can induce apoptosis (programmed cell death) or cause mutations. Certain types of cancer can arise from such mutations.

Mitosis occurs only in eukaryotic cells and the process varies in different organisms. For example, animals undergo an "open" mitosis, where the nuclear envelope breaks down before the chromosomes separate, while fungi undergo a "closed" mitosis, where chromosomes divide within an intact cell nucleus. Furthermore, most animal cells undergo a shape change, known as mitotic cell rounding, to adopt a near spherical morphology at the start of mitosis. Prokaryotic cells, which lack a nucleus, divide by a different process called binary fission.

Mitosis (disambiguation)

Mitosis can mean:

  • The process by which a cell separates its duplicated genome into two identical halves.

Mitosis is the name of one thing:

  • Mitosis - an alias of Australian happy hardcore producer Sam Gonzalez.

Usage examples of "mitosis".

Project Duplicity deals with the development of a chemical which causes mitosis.

The cells show many irregular, hyperchromatic nuclei and large numbers of mitoses.

And, second, chromosomes only resolved themselves out of the chromatin during mitosis, which, of course, was hardly the usual state of affairs within a cell.

To have within my hands the means of reversal was, then, to bear what was inflicted upon us and I did not faint nor did I crumple under these burdens but instead only continued, upward on the ramp, holding hard on the poles that gripped our hands like ropes until finally we came into the place of the vault where we had entered and only then did the halves of us spilt, fission then like mitosis, the beast splitting to parts that were named Ezekiel and Folsom and there we stood, separate once again, looking at one another.

They took him to a museum where animated, enlarged cells underwent mitosis with a plop like a cow lifting her foot from a bog, and a re-created Tyrannosaurus rex coughed and barked and thumped its feet clangorously, its orange eyes glaring straight at Forrester.

Removing most or all of the ancient viral genes, including SHEVA genes, produces gross chromosomal abnormalities following mitosis, failure of fertilized eggs to implant, early absorptions, and miscarriages.

These were the organs which produced the various nutrient fluids circulating in the shell’s vast network of ducts, sustaining the mitosis layer which regenerated the polyp, the starscraper apartment food-secretion glands, the ledge pedestals which fed the visiting blackhawks and voidhawks, as well as various specialist organs responsible for environmental maintenance.

The basic process is the same, meiosis and mitosis, governed by a molecular 'blue-print' not unlike our chromosomes.

During mitosis every chromosome pair replicates and one of the two identical sets of chromosome pairs migrates to each daughter cell, which now has a genotype identical to the mother cell.

I can only conclude that our egg cells are formed through mitosis rather than the usual meio sis, which would more or less halve the number of chromosomes yet again: how else to explain generation upon generation of parthenogenesis?

This is rather difficult to express in an unfamiliar language—the biologists of the first expedition found this process slightly more com­plicated than the mitoses of the fertilized Plookh cell, but—"