Cell Division (Principles): Mitosis and Meiosis Virtual Lab
Join a cell biology research group to find out how a poisonous compound from a yew tree can be used in cancer therapy. You will be immersed in an animation of a human cell and use light and fluorescence microscopy to study cell division.
- High School
About This Simulation
How can a toxic compound be used in medicine? Paclitaxel, isolated from yew trees, can kill large animals like horses but is also used in cancer therapy. In this simulation, you will learn how cells divide and how they are affected by poisonous paclitaxel.
Test the effect of paclitaxel
Start by testing the effect of paclitaxel on cultured cells. Will the compound kill the cells, or perhaps inhibit or accelerate cell division? Continue by learning more about the phases a cell must go through in order to divide and how this complex process is regulated.
How is DNA packaged?
Next, you have the option to dive into a blood sample to find out how DNA is packaged in an immersive animation of the cell. Find the DNA inside the nucleus and then zoom in from the chromosomes all the way to individual nucleotides. If you are already familiar with this, you can continue with the next experiment straight away!
Use microscopy to study mitosis
Prepare a sample of onion cells to observe the phases of mitosis under the microscope. Find out how each phase contributes to successful duplication of the cell.
Compare mitosis and meiosis
Now that you are an expert in mitosis, it is time to find out how this way of cell division differs from meiosis. Compare the phases and outcomes of mitosis and meiosis through an interactive learning activity and discover how meiosis contributes to genetic diversity in the population. Finally, think back to the effect of paclitaxel: does this compound affect only cells dividing through mitosis or would it affect meiosis as well?
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