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What are the differences between mitosis and meiosis, and how do they function in the cell cycle?

Mitosis and meiosis are two types of cell division that differ in their purpose and outcome.

Mitosis is a process of cell division that results in the formation of two identical daughter cells, each with the same number of chromosomes as the parent cell. It is essential for growth, repair, and maintenance of tissues in multicellular organisms. Mitosis consists of four stages: prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase.

Meiosis, on the other hand, is a type of cell division that occurs only in the cells that produce gametes (sperm and egg cells). Its purpose is to reduce the chromosome number by half, so that when the gametes fuse during fertilization, the resulting zygote has the correct number of chromosomes. Meiosis consists of two rounds of cell division, resulting in the formation of four haploid daughter cells.

In terms of the cell cycle, mitosis occurs during the M phase, while meiosis occurs during the gamete-producing phase. Mitosis is a continuous process that occurs in all somatic cells, while meiosis is a specialized process that occurs only in the cells of the gonads.

Overall, mitosis and meiosis are two distinct types of cell division that serve different purposes in the cell cycle. While mitosis is essential for growth and repair, meiosis is necessary for sexual reproduction and genetic diversity.

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