This is the process that special cells in the gonads undergo to produce sperm or ova. It is distinguished from mitosis, in which cells divide and produce two identical offspring, each with a full set of paired chromosomes. Mitosis is responsible for the ordinary process of development in which a fertilized ovum grows into a fully developed individual with billions of cells. In meiosis the cells divide, but each daughter cell, whether a sperm or ovum, gets only one chromosome from each pair of chromosomes in the parental germ cell. At conception, two half-sets of chromosomes – or one chromosome from each parent- combine to produce a full set that will begin developing.
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