Question Video: Recalling the Stage Prior to Mitosis Where the DNA in a Cell Doubles Science

Fill in the blank: The stage that occurs before cell division when the DNA in the cell doubles is called _. [A] Prophase [B] Metaphase [C] Anaphase [D] Telophase [E] Interphase

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Video Transcript

Fill in the blank. The stage that occurs before cell division when the DNA in the cell doubles is called blank. Option (A), prophase; option (B), metaphase; option (C), anaphase; option (D), telophase; or option (E), interphase.

This question mentions the process of cell division. You may recall that the process by which a single cell divides to form two new identical cells is called mitosis. So why is mitosis important? Think about a plant that starts out as a seed and grows out of the ground into a plant. This growth is possible because the cells divide. Mitosis is a crucial part of growth in all multicellular organisms. Mitosis itself is divided into four stages, prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase. You can see these four stages listed in our answer choices. Over the course of these four stages, the DNA contained in the original cell is split into two so that each of the new daughter cells receives its own DNA.

Let’s stop and think for a moment. If the DNA in the original cell is split between the two daughter cells, wouldn’t this mean that each daughter cell only gets half? Well, dividing cells fixed this issue by making a copy of their DNA before mitosis actually begins. Through the stages of mitosis, the two copies of DNA are separated and are divided equally between the two daughter cells. In this way, each new cell receives an entire copy of the original DNA.

So when does this DNA copying occur? Mitosis is actually only a small part of a larger process called the cell cycle. During a stage called interphase, which occurs before mitosis, the DNA of the cell is copied in preparation for cell division. With this in mind, we are able to fill in the blank to the following question: The stage that occurs before cell division when the DNA in the cell doubles is called blank. The correct answer here is (E), interphase.

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