What is the principal difference between mitosis and meiosis?

The principal difference between mitosis and meiosis is that mitosis involves a single round of division, which produces two identical daughter cells in which all its contents are identical. Meiosis involves two rounds of division that ultimately result in four cells, each with half the number of chromosomes as the original parent cell.

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Mitosis and meiosis are both processes of cell division. Mitosis is a very essential process for life, and the steps are very carefully regulated because health problems can occur if the steps in mitosis are not correctly followed.

Mitosis primarily results in the transfer of the complete set of genes in a parent's cell into two identical daughter cells. The parent cell achieves this by making a copy of each chromosome contained in the cell. A chromosome is made up of tightly coiled DNA, which contains genetic information required by the cell to function properly.

The duplication of the chromosome is a series of complex steps which begins with its condensation. It eventually progresses to the formation of two identical sister chromatids attached to each other through the centromere, which is a stretch of DNA that forms protein complexes. The whole process of mitosis takes place very quickly.

On the other hand, meiosis is a slower process. It is a two-step process which ultimately results in four cells. The process starts with a diploid cell containing two copies of each chromosome. The cell undergoes DNA replication consisting of two identical sister chromatids before proceeding to a second division. At the end, the process produces four genetically unique cells, each with half the number of chromosomes as the parent cell. This two step process allows for genetic variation by a process of genetic shuffling that occurs while the cells divide.

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