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A teacher once asked his five years old student during a lecture: “Why do you want to marry?”. The child answered: “I want to marry in order to give birth and ensure my continuity when I am gone”. That’s very true, though there are hundreds of reasons why one should marry.

Cells divide in order to ensure their continuity through two processes:

  1. Mitosis
  2. Meiosis

The mitotic type of cell division occurs in the soma cells, while the meiotic type of cell division occurs in the gamete cells.

Why mitotic cell division?

  • Division of the body cells (somatic cells) unarguably leads to an increase in the body size and mass.
  • Ever had a wound on your knee while playing soccer?. The replacement of the damaged tissue skin is facilitated by mitotic cell division. Replacement of worn-out cells on body tissues are through mitosis.
  • In certain animals such as crustacean and starfish. Regeneration of the lost body tissues is by mitosis.
  • It is also the fundamental basis for asexual reproduction.

Why meiotic cell division?

  • Cells of testes and ovaries that are involved in sexual reproduction divide by the meiotic process.
  • It provides an opportunity for a combination of new genes unlike in mitotic cell division.

See also Cell differentiation in the human body


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