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Compare and contrast the similarities and differences between meiosis and mitosis.

Both are forms of cell division.

Both are used during gametogenesis (formation of gametes or sex cells such as spermatozoa and oocytes).

Only mitosis is used during cell division of somatic or body cells.

Meiosis is a longer and more complex process with eight stages (prophase one and two, metaphase one and two, anaphase one and two, telophase one and two). Mitosis only has four stages, prophase, metaphase, anaphase and telophase.

Due to the repetition of the stages, meiosis has two cell divisions and mitosis only has one cell division.

Due to this difference, meiosis produces four daughter cells that are haploid, and have half the number of chromosomes found in a somatic cell (in a human they would have 23 chromosomes, haploid is read as "n" in genetics). These daughter cells are also genetically different.

Mitosis however produces just two daughter cells which are diploid (therefore have 46 chromosomes) and are genetically identical, in genetics diploid is read as "2n".

Sally P. A Level Biology tutor, GCSE Biology tutor

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