Aurora kinases have recently taken centre stage in the regulation of key cell cycle processes. Aurora A is emerging as a critical regulator of centrosome and spindle function. Aurora B mediates chromosome segregation by ensuring proper biorientation of sister chromatids, possibly through the regulation of microtubule dynamics. This enzyme also functions in cytokinesis apparently by interacting with a critical GTPase and a kinesin-like protein. Recent work on both kinases has revealed functional links between Aurora kinase activity and the mechanics of cell division.