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What are some facts about mitosis?

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During mitosis, the nucleus of a eukaryotic cell divides into two, followed by splitting of the parent cell into two daughter cells. It occurs in somatic cells and ensures the equal partition of replicated chromosomes into two diploid daughter cells. Walther Flemming, a German biologist, discovered mitosis in 1882.

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Mitosis consists of these distinct phases: interphase, prophase, metaphase, anaphase and telophase. Each mitotic phase contributes towards chromosome alignment and separation. At the end of mitosis, the whole cell splits into two through the process of cytokinesis, and each daughter cell contains an exact copy of the parent's genetic material.

During interphase, the cell undergoes replication and prepares for the entire mitotic process. At prophase, chromosomes condense and become visible while spindle fibers form. At metaphase, homologous chromosomes align at the equator of the cell. During anaphase, chromosomes split at the centromere and move towards opposite poles and spindle fibers break. During telophase, spindle fibers disappear, chromosomes settle at opposite poles and a plate forms in between, separating the cell into two equal halves. Cytokinesis occurs during this time. Two diploid daughter cells result.

A number of hormones induce mitosis. Cytokinin is the exact hormone in plants but a specific cell-division hormone is not known in animals.

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