Thursday, December 20, 2012

A new term to remember: "klerokinesis"

Genetic Engineering Technology reports on a new type of cell division discovered at the University of Wisconsin:
The researchers found that [after blocking cell division], rather than appearing abnormal, daughter cells ended up looking normal most of the time.  "We started with two nuclei in one cell," continued Dr. Mark Burkard. "To our great surprise, we saw the cell pop apart into two cells without going through mitosis." Each of the two new cells inherited an intact nucleus enveloping a complete set of chromosomes. The splitting occurred, unpredictably, during a delayed growth phase rather than at the end of mitosis.
"We had a hard time convincing ourselves because this type of division does not appear in any textbook," noted Dr. Burkard.
The new form of division is called "klerokinesis", which is derived from "kleros", a term for allotted inheritance of farmland in Ancient Greece.