The cell division process produces new cells to replace older cells in the body. Somatic, or body, cells, like skin, hair, and muscle cells, divide during a process called mitosis. Mitotic division produces two cells that are identical to the parent cell. Human somatic cells go through the six phases of mitosis—interphase, prophase, metaphase, anaphase, telophase, and interphase.
Unlike somatic cells, the sex cells, sperm and egg, are produced during a process called meiosis. Meiotic division occurs in two stages—Meiosis I and Meiosis II. Meiosis I is quite similar to mitosis and results in two daughter cells. Unlike mitosis, though, the daughter cells from meiosis I are not exactly like the parent cell. In meiosis II the two cells from meiosis I divide and the overall result is four daughter cells, each of which contains only half the original number of chromosomes. During fertilization, an egg and sperm unite, resulting in a zygote that has the same number of chromosomes as the original parent cell. In this activity, you will explore and compare the phases of mitosis and meiosis.
The observations you recorded in this activity will help you answer the following questions.
|Data Table I|
|Data Table II|