Cell division is an important process in the human body. Regeneration resulting
from cell division, along with the programmed death of old cells, or apoptosis, allows the body to grow, change, and repair itself. Apoptosis
also eliminates abnormal, inefficient cell structures, and maintains basic, healthy
biological functions, including proper immune response.
Just before division, a parent cell's DNA is fed through a replication bank. A complex
protein called helicase unwinds each ladder section of the molecule and breaks the
hydrogen bonds between the bases comprising the rungs to create two separate strands.
A specialized enzyme then creates something akin to a template on the opposite side
of each separated strand. With the template in place, a replication enzyme builds
a new strand of DNA—complete with the damage, if any, contained in the original
strand. Finally, the section seals and twist back into its characteristic helical
pattern. Section by section, the proteins move down the structure, creating two
separate, identical molecules of DNA.