Meiosis is a little different to mitosis. It’s still a form of cell division, but there are a number of key differences. Now, we’ll look at the key differences, and explain why they’re actually important.
Mitosis is a form of cell division (not to be confused with meiosis!). This is the form of cell division that happens throughout your body (it happens in your toes, so it happens everywhere!)
But, how does it happen? Well: all of a cell’s genetic information is stored inside the nucleus. The cell needs to split to divide. Just before this happens, the nucleus ‘splits’ in half. However: there’s a problem: if the cell were to split now, both of the two new cells would only have half of the genetic information they require, and it wouldn’t work!
Instead, after the nucleus splits, every chromosome (piece of genetic information) duplicates. There are now two copies of each piece of information in the cell. A copy of each chromosome moves to opposite sides of the cell. The cell now contains enough genetic information to make two separate cells. At this point, the cell splits in two, creating two new genetically identical ‘daughter’ cells.
And that’s it!
The genetics that we receive from our parents determine what we look like; eyes, hair, height, the whole lot is controlled by genetic information that you had from the moment you were conceived. But with the genetics you inherit, there can come some faulty genes; mutations and genetic disorders. In this topic I explore the world of genetics, inheritance and genetic disorders in relative depth.