How Are Mitosis and Meiosis Alike?

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Mitosis and meiosis are similar in that they are both forms of cellular reproduction, and they both, consequently, produce daughter cells. Both processes also use the same four steps: prophase, metaphase, anaphase and telophase.

Mitosis and meiosis differ, however, in the nature of the DNA that ends up in the daughter cells once the respective processes are complete. In mitosis, the resulting two daughter cells have the same exact DNA fully represented as the parent cell did. However, in meiosis, the daughter cells have one half the number of chromosomes as the parent cell did. Mitosis, because it produces new cells that have identically copied DNA, functions as the staple to growth and repair in the human body. Meiosis, on the other hand, allows organisms to reproduce sexually, where gametes, known as the sperm and eggs, are haploid.

Another important distinction between mitosis and meiosis is that the product of mitosis is two daughter cells. The result from meiosis, however, is actually four daughter cells. The reason why this happens is because there are actually two steps to meiosis where a cell divides once and then divides again, resulting in four daughter cells that have half the number of chromosomes as the parent cell.