cell cycle

Definition / meaning of cell cycle

The process a cell goes through each time it divides. The cell cycle consists of a series of steps during which the chromosomes and other cell material double to make two copies. The cell then divides into two daughter cells, each receiving one copy of the doubled material. The cell cycle is complete when each daughter cell is surrounded by its own outer membrane. Also called mitotic cycle.

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The Web site of the National Cancer Institute (http://www.cancer.gov/)

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