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What is the difference between mitosis and meiosis?

I always remember mitosis as the process that leads to "genetically identical clones" and meiosis being the process that does not lead to clones but is the process that produces a cell with half the number of chromosomes.  

Mitosis there is 1 division. The chromosomes double their DNA/genetic content by making copies of themselves and then after arrangement in a line the chromatids are pulled apart and the cell halves. Each daughter cell now has the same number of chromosomes as the starting parent cell. 

Meiosis there are 2 divisions. The first division has the same doubling of DNA as in early mitosis (but just before the first division there is swapping of genetic material, and then there's the 1st division of the pair of chromosomes). The chromosomes then divide again (the 2nd division is similar to the division in mitosis) and therefore there is half the number of chromosomes than the starting cell. This is how gametes (egg/sperm) are made. 

Pooja D. GCSE Chemistry tutor, A Level Chemistry tutor, GCSE Biology ...

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