Domestic cats have 38 chromosomes in each of their somatic cells. After mitosis how many chromosomes will each new daughter cell have?

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In any animal that undergoes sexual reproduction, their cells will divide one of two ways. Somatic cells, or body cells, divide through a process called mitosis. Gametes, or sex cells, undergo meiosis to make more of themselves. These processes each create a different number of 'daughter cells' with a different...

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number of chromosomes.

Mitosis is used for a multitude of different purposes, including repairing a wound, helping an organism grow, replacing old/worn-out cells, and asexual reproduction for the organisms capable of it. When mitosis is done correctly and no mutations occur, the end result is 2 daughter cells that are each identical clones of the original cell, thus with the same number of chromosomes. 

Mitosis takes place in four stages, and to help remember it, just remember the phrase "I Picked My Apples Today." "I" stands for interphase, which is not technically a part of mitosis.

I - Interphase: This is what cells are doing the vast majority of their lifespan, about 90% of the time. This is where cells will carry out their given jobs (heart cell pumping blood, muscle cells creating movement) and copy their DNA into exact copies. During this step all chromosomes are doubled, so cells will end interphase with double the original number of chromosomes. 

P - Prophase: Once a cell begins the process of dividing, the nuclear membrane around the DNA protecting it and keeping it separate form the cytoplasm, degrades and disappears. At this point we can see the chromosomes under a high powered microscope, normally not possible due to the membrane surrounding it. 

M - Metaphase: After the nuclear membrane disappears the chromosomes will line up along the center of the cell in a straight line. Transport proteins move around the cell and are responsible for making sure the chromosomes are in a line. At the same time, spindle fibers start reaching out from opposite sides of the cell. Once the chromosomes are lined up the spindles take hold on either side of the chromosomes in the middle where the doubled chromosome is attached. 

A - Anaphase: During this phase the spindle fibers contract, pulling on the chromosomes. This tears the chromosomes in two and pulls each separated chromatid to opposite sides of the cell. 

T - Telophase: Finally, nuclear membranes start forming around the separated groups of chromosomes. The cell prepares for cytokinesis, or dividing into two cells. 

Once mitosis is complete, you will be left with two cells with the same number of chromosomes as the parent organism. In your situation, a 38 chromosome somatic cell would create two identical daughter cells each with 38 chromosomes. 

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