What Process Divides the Cell Nucleus and Its Contents?

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Both the processes of mitosis and meiosis divide the cell nucleus and its contents. Mitosis occurs in all cells of the body, whereas meiosis happens only in the sex cells.

Mitosis consists of four phases: prophase, metaphase, anaphase and telophase. Before prophase the cell is in interphase, which is when the chromosomes are duplicated. Mitosis eventually divides these chromosomes between the two resulting daughter cells.

Meiosis is similar to mitosis; however, the resulting daughter cells have only half the number of chromosomes as the parent cells. During the prophase I stage of meiosis, portions of homologous chromosomes break off and reattach to the other homologous chromosomes, resulting in daughter chromosomes that are not total replicates of the parent chromosomes.