Mitosis is a cellular process that replicates chromosomes and produces two identical nuclei in preparation for cell division. Generally, mitosis is immediately followed by the equal division of the cell nuclei and other cell contents into two daughter cells.
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We all started as one cell. That's pretty hard to imagine, but that's true. And now there's about a hundred trillion cells in each of our bodies, and they each have to carry the complete DNA instruction set. So that means when cells divide, a process has to occur of copying all of that. And that is mitosis, where each chromosome has to be turned into a pair, and then they have to split apart properly so that each of the daughter cells gets a complete set.
Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D.
Director, National Institutes of Health; Former Director, National Human Genome Research Institute
Dr. Francis S. Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, is noted for his landmark discoveries of disease genes and his visionary leadership of the Human Genome Project, a complex multidisciplinary scientific enterprise directed at mapping and sequencing human DNA. Dr. Collins was the director of the National Human Genome Research Institute from 1993 to 2008. His research has led to the identification of genetic variants associated with type 2 diabetes and the genes responsible for cystic fibrosis, neurofibromatosis, Huntington's disease and Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome. In 2007, Dr. Collins received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civil award, for his revolutionary contributions to genetic research.