Q:

When does meiosis occur in humans?

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Quick Answer

Meiosis in humans happens before birth in females, and constantly after puberty in males. Meiosis is the production of gametes, the cells used in sexual reproduction, and females possess nearly their full complement of partially developed eggs at birth. Males, on the other hand, don't even begin producing sperm until puberty, after which they create tens of millions to billions per day.

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Full Answer

Meiosis is the method by which all multicellular animals create the cells for sexual reproduction. It relies on germ cells, which have paired chromosomes, in the testes or ovaries. They divide to create cells with unpaired chromosomes, thus containing only half the DNA of the parent cell. The process of meiosis is rather complex, but in the end it produces four cells with unpaired chromosomes. When this process creates sperm, all four of the resulting cells are used. When it creates eggs, only one of the resulting cells actually survives. The three others are known as polar bodies, and they disintegrate shortly after creation.

Despite the similarities in the basic mechanism of meiosis in males and females, in humans the resulting cells are vastly different. Eggs are complex cells of relatively great size that are actually visible to the naked eye, in the right circumstances. Sperm cells, on the other hand, are tiny and simple.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the purpose of meiosis?

    A:

    Meiosis is the process of cell division that creates offspring in sexually reproducing organisms, explains a University of Illinois at Chicago website. Unlike during mitosis, meiotic cell division starts with double the number of chromosomes in diploid parent cells. Meiosis cuts this number in half forming two haploid daughter cells. When these daughter cells combine and undergo fertilization, a zygote is created and the cell begins to develop.

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  • Q:

    How do I describe meiosis?

    A:

    Meiosis is the process in which cells divide to produce sex cells. Meiosis takes a single cell and divides it into four different cells with half of the necessary chromosomes for human development. Meiosis creates both egg and sperm cells.

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  • Q:

    What are the products of meiosis?

    A:

    Meiosis is a cell division process that occurs twice to produce four haploid daughter cells, according to Biology4Kids. Meiosis I occurs first and creates two daughter cells, and then meiosis II begins and creates two more daughter cells.

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  • Q:

    Why is meiosis important for sexual reproduction?

    A:

    Meiosis is important because it reduces the number of chromosomes by half allowing sexual reproduction to occur. If meiosis did not happen, the cell would have too many DNA pairs. This would result in the death of the cell or other life-threatening complications with offspring.

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