Meiosis is the process in which cells divide to produce sex cells. Meiosis takes a single cell and divides it into four different cells with half of the necessary chromosomes for human development. Meiosis creates both egg and sperm cells.
Mitosis is the way cells divide, reproduce and grow, and meiosis extends the process one step further. In meiosis, a cell grows larger. In the nucleus, or brain, of the cell, the DNA contained within duplicates so that there are two distinct sets of genetic information. These two sets separate into the different sides of the nucleus, and the cell divides into two separate cells. In mitosis, cell division stops at this phase, but in meiosis it continues.
In order for meiosis to occur, these resulting cells must divide further. The two daughter cells split their DNA into two groups, then divide into two cells each. This results in four cells from the original cell. Each sex cell, whether it is a sperm or an egg, has half of the chromosomes necessary for growth.
Meiosis also includes a vital element that makes it different from normal cell division, the mixing of DNA. This ensures that the resulting sex cells are randomized and have different genes from one another. The randomization creates genetic diversity even among cells that are the result of the division of a single cell.