Mitosis and Meiosis

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Mitosis is the biological process involving chromosomal duplication and nuclear division. Mitosis is usually followed by cytokinesis, whereby the watery environment inside a cell, known as the cytoplasm, and cell membrane divide. Two identical cells are generated, each having the same number of chromosomes as the parental cell. Somatic cells (meaning any cell that is not a germline cell) undergo mitosis while germ cells (cells destined to become sperm or eggs) divide by a related process called meiosis.

The biological process of Meiosis involves DNA synthesis followed by two rounds of cell division and results in four daughter cells with half the number of chromosomes as the starting cell. Meiosis is essential for sexual reproduction. Meiotic recombination, also known as crossing over, is the process in which two chromosomes exchange segments of DNA and is responsible for genetic variation.

About the Author

Walter Jessen is a senior writer for Highlight HEALTH Media.