What life is


Asexual reproduction and mitosis

Asexual reproduction is used by all single-celled organisms and all somatic cells (e.g. skin cell) of a multicellular organism during growth and wound healing. Simple cell division involves growing the size of a cell, duplicating the genetic material and separating it in equal amounts into the two ensuing daughter cells. This process is known as mitosis in eukaryotic cells, and binary fission in prokaryotic cells. The result is two genetically identical cells, with the exception of random mutations, or errors in copying during cell division. Most asexually reproducing cells come in large numbers (i.e. population) and have a relatively short generation time, the time elapsed between two generations. For prokaryotes and simple cells the generation time can be measured in hours. This allows for a very large number of offspring in a matter of days or month which is often a time frame during which environmental changes occur only slowly or not at all.

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