How Cells Get the Right Chromosomes

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Science  31 Jan 1997:
Vol. 275, Issue 5300, pp. 632-637
DOI: 10.1126/science.275.5300.632

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When cells divide, the chromosomes must be delivered flawlessly to the daughter cells. Missing or extra chromosomes can result in birth defects and cancer. Chance events are the starting point for chromosome delivery, which makes the process prone to error. Errors are avoided by diverse uses of mechanical tension from mitotic forces. Tension stabilizes the proper chromosome configuration, controls a cell cycle checkpoint, and changes chromosome chemistry.

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