Talking Glossary of Genetic Terms
A cell cycle is a series of events that takes place in a cell as it grows and divides. A cell spends most of its time in what is called interphase, and during this time it grows, replicates its chromosomes, and prepares for cell division. The cell then leaves interphase, undergoes mitosis, and completes its division. The resulting cells, known as daughter cells, each enter their own interphase and begin a new round of the cell cycle.
Cell cycle is the name we give the process through which cells replicate and make two new cells. Cell cycle has different stages called G1, S, G2, and M. G1 is the stage where the cell is preparing to divide. To do this, it then moves into the S phase where the cell copies all the DNA. So, S stands for DNA synthesis. After the DNA is copied and there's a complete extra set of all the genetic material, the cell moves into the G2 stage, where it organizes and condenses the genetic material, or starts to condense the genetic material, and prepares to divide. The next stage is M. M stands for mitosis. This is where the cell actually partitions the two copies of the genetic material into the two daughter cells. After M phase completes, cell division occurs and two cells are left, and the cell cycle can begin again.
Name: Lawrence C. Brody, Ph.D.
Occupation: Chief & Senior Investigator, Genome Technology Branch; Head, Molecular Pathogenesis Section
Biography: Dr. Brody investigates the genetics of breast cancer and neural tube defects. As chief of the NHGRI Genome Technology Branch's Molecular Pathogenesis section, he is interested in studying genetic mutations that lead to perturbations in normal metabolic pathways and cause disorders such as cancer and birth defects. His laboratory investigates mutations in two breast cancer-linked genes, breast cancer gene 1 (BRCA1) and breast cancer gene 2 (BRCA2). Dr. Brody's laboratory was among the first to report that women carrying BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations have a higher risk of developing both breast and ovarian cancer than women without such mutations.