Cell Division: A Step Closer to the Cure for Cancer

Humans are made up of an innumerable amount of cells. Each of those cells will at one point split, making more cells which will then split to create even more cells. This process helps repair and replace worn-out tissue and heal wounds. There is a chance, however, that during one of these cell division processes, something could go incredibly wrong. Cancerous cells will split and divide uncontrollably leading to often fatal results. New studies on cell division may put scientists one step closer to finding the cure for cancer.

A Lack of Understanding of Cell Division

Being so crucial to the life of not just humanity, but every living thing, it seems crucial to know more about the process of cell division, but unfortunately, it still remains fairly mysterious to scientists. British and Canadian scientists working together have recently made the process slightly less mysterious, though.

The New Information

The specifics of what was learned concern cytokinesis, the process of the daughter cells splitting from each other. Some microtubules, microscopic structures that physically pull apart the chromosomes inside the cells, separate the chromosomes with their kinetochores, the protein ring that does the pulling. The other microtubules tell the first ones where the chromosome should be split so cell division goes smoothly. This is well known, but it was previously assumed that the chromosomes just sit there while they are split in two. Scientists have found that this is not the case.

Gilles Hickson of the University of Montreal says that a phosphate found within the kinetochores essentially motivates the chromosome to, in a way, help split itself.

How is this helpful?

On its own, it’s more knowledge that is known which is beneficial to the pursuit of knowledge. While this research won’t directly lead to a cure for cancer straight away, every new piece of information that is learned about cells will eventually help scientists figure out how to start developing a cure for the deadly disease. The more scientists learn and know about the human body especially, the closer they are to finding cures for every type of ailment. When the quest for knowledge is able to explain everything about the human body, scientists will be able to rest, but until then, they are in an endless pursuit of learning.

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