Meiosis - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Genetics

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 6 pages of information about Meiosis.
This section contains 1,673 words
(approx. 6 pages at 300 words per page)
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Overview

All of our somatic cells except the egg and sperm cells contain twenty-three pairs of chromosomes, for a total of forty-six individual chromosomes. This number, twenty-three, is known as the diploid number. If our egg and sperm cells were just like our somatic cells and contained twenty-three pairs of chromosomes, their fusion during fertilization would create a cell with forty-six chromosome pairs, or ninety-two chromosomes total. To prevent that from happening and to ensure a stable number of chromosomes throughout the generations, a special type of cell division is needed to halve the number of chromosomes in egg and sperm cells. This special process is meiosis.

Meiosis creates haploid cells, in which there are twenty-three individual chromosomes, without any pairing. When gametes fuse at conception to produce a zygote, which will turn into a fetus and eventually into an adult human being, the chromosomes containing the mother's and...

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This section contains 1,673 words
(approx. 6 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Meiosis Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan Science Library: Genetics
Meiosis from Macmillan Science Library: Genetics. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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