Scrape Yourself? What Happens?

If I were to scrape a part of my skin so deeply that it bleeds I would not be happy. I would be very conscious of the fact that I have a wound and it could possibly leave a scar. Soon after the scrape occurs a scab forms over the wound. Later the scab will fall off and there should no longer be a gash or cut on my skin. New skin has appeared where the cut was made. How did this skin come to be? Let’s find out!

When a scrape happens the skin cells around the area of the scrape get signaled that they need to get working on reproducing more skin cells to cover the open wound and prevent unwelcome molecules from entering into the body. Mitosis is the duplication of cells. There are many phases involved in the process of making more cells but the whole phase where mitosis occurs is called the mitotic phase.

During the mitotic phase, the most important activity of a cell in regard to duplication takes place in interphase. In the interphase the DNA of the cell is replicated, therefore the nucleus is divided. There are four more related phases of mitosis. Prophase (#1) is where chromatids become dense, protein structures start to form and move into place, and the nuclear envelope begins to dissolve. Metaphase (#2) is the phase when chromatids line up at the equator of the cell and a spindle is formed. In the Anaphase (#3) of mitosis the chromatids separate which leaves chromosomes free to move to opposite ends of the cell. Telophase (#4) is when two nuclei are formed and the cell begins to divide and the spindle dissolves. These four phases are often remembered in the form of PMAT. Next comes another important step of mitosis: cytokinesis. In this step the cells move apart from each other and go off to do their jobs.

The cells continue to duplicate by way of the ever more detailed process above. Once enough cells have been made to cover the scrape the cells receive a chemical signal to stop the duplication process. And there you have renewed skin over where you had scraped yourself. Just imagine if this process of duplicating cells, mitosis, weren’t to happen you would have open wounds remaining from every blood-drawing scrape you have ever gotten! Some people’s bodies would consist of raw flesh! Yuck. Boy, am I thankful for this process!


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