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Certain genes are expressed meaning the code is read and used to make a protein depending on signals from inside or outside the cell. For example, when a cell becomes too large, certain signals are produced to tell the nucleus to make proteins needed for cell division. The nucleus then expresses those specific genes.

In this manner, cells regulate themselves and each other, maintaining balance and order in the body. Cells grow and divide in a highly regulated system called the cell cycle. During most of the cell cycle, the cell grows at a normal pace and performs its normal functions.

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When a cell gets too large, the cell must divide. The process by which a cell divides in half to create two identical copies of itself is known as mitosis. The two new cells are called daughter cells. For this two occur, the DNA must replicate itself to provide a complete genome for each daughter cell.

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The organelles must also equally distribute themselves so each daughter cell receives an adequate amount to function. The cell must then physically divide, separating the contents of the cytoplasm into the two new cells. This process is highly regulated through gene expression. The stages of mitosis. Freeman and Company. Biology of cells from Discovery Channel.

How Cells Work

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Start Here! Print PDF. Author: Brooke Rosenbaum. Content Contributor: OncoLink. Last Reviewed: October 21, What is a cell?

What Does A Healthy Cell Look Like?

View all Blogs. Tweets by OncoLinkTeam. Frequently Asked Questions. Improving white blood cell count during chemotherapy Does sugar feed cancer? More FAQ's. This adhesion helps cells to stay in their proper location and also aids in the passage of signals between cells. Cell Specialization: Normal cells have the ability to differentiate or develop into specialized cells.

For example, cells can develop into heart cells, brain cells, lung cells, or any other cell of a specific type. Cell Death: Normal cells have the ability to self-destruct when they become damaged or diseased. They undergo a process called apoptosis , in which cells break down and are disposed of by white blood cells.

Cancer cells gain control of their own growth signals and continue to multiply unchecked. They don't experience biological aging and maintain their ability to replicate and grow. They also lose sensitivity to anti-growth signals from surrounding cells.

These signals normally restrict cellular growth. Cancer cell proliferation is rapid and excessive as these cells spread throughout the body. Mutations that occur in gene checking mechanisms allow for the damages to go undetected. Cancer Research UK. The Cancer Cell. How do healthy cells become cancerous? Continue Reading. ThoughtCo uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience.

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