A fundamental feature of all living creatures is that their organism grows. The actual growth of multicellular organisms results from the increase in the number of cells. Cell divisions make it possible for a single fertilized egg cell to give rise to millions and billions of cells. In the process, chromatin, as carrier of hereditary information, is duplicated, then halved in a highly accurate manner and then transferred to both daughter cells. The complex process of meiosis, the reduction division. Through meiosis not only is the number of chromosomes halved, but also the utterly important rearrangement of chromosome sets and the exchange of segments („crossing over“ process) both take place. The process of cell division is explained through classical examples of known animals and plants. Fine structure of the cell and its nucleus. The sequence of a normal cell division (mitosis) in chronological steps. Resting nucleus. Contraction, division and separation of the daughter chromosomes. Recombination of hereditary traits and reduction in the number of chromosomes through meiosis. Primordial sex cells. Entering of a sperm in the egg cell (ovum). Prophase, first and second meiosis. Dismissal of the sperm’s flagellum (tail). Mixing of male and female chromosome sets. Translation of chromosomes to egg nucleus. Mature egg cell with male and female pronuclei. Fertilization, cleavage, embryo formation. Schematic representation of all phases. The slides, colored by means of a special staining technique, depict the individual cell structures in contrasting colors.
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