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Three types of cell reproduction are compared: the relatively simple Binary fission and two more complicated types that either involve mitosis or meiosis.

Binary fission. Organisms such as bacteria typically have a single chromosome (green). At the start of the binary fission process, the DNA molecule of the cell's chromosome is replicated, producing two copies of the chromosome. A key aspect of bacterial cell reproduction is making sure that each daughter cell gets a copy of the chromosome. Cytokinesis is the actual physical separation of the two new daughter cells.

Cell reproduction that involves mitosis. Most eukaryotic organisms like humans have more than one chromosome. In order to make sure that a copy of each chromosome gets segregated into each daughter cell, the spindle apparatus is used (blue threads). The chromosomes are moved along the long thin microtubules like trains moving along train tracks. Humans are diploid; we have two copies of each type of chromosome, one from the father (red) and one from the mother (green).

Cell reproduction that involves meiosis. The human sex cells (gametes) are produced by meiosis. For sperm production there are two cytokinesis steps that produce a total of four cells, each with half the normal number of chromosomes. The situation is different in the ovaries for egg production where one of the four sets of chromosomes that is segregated is placed in a large egg cell, ready to be combined with the DNA from a sperm cell (see meiosis for details).

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Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this image under the terms of the Wikipedia GFDL, as indicated in the fine print at the bottom of this page. JWSchmidt 15:11, 11 Apr 2004 (UTC)

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File history English Wikipedia

(del) (cur) 21:51, 6 July 2004 . . Guanaco (174122 bytes) (transparency, crop, optimize)
(del) (rev) 05:21, 31 March 2004 . . JWSchmidt (176449 bytes)
(del) (rev) 04:21, 31 March 2004 . . JWSchmidt (176121 bytes)
(del) (rev) 03:54, 31 March 2004 . . JWSchmidt (172333 bytes) (Three types of cell growth are compared.)

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