Meiosis is a type of cell division that results in the formation of gametes, or sex cells. Gametes are important because they contain half the number of chromosomes in a normal cell and are the means by which sexual reproduction occurs. During meiosis, chromosomes come together, exchange genetic material, and then separate back into two cells. This process is repeated twice, resulting in four daughter cells. An example of meiosis is what’s happening when a sperm cell and an egg cell meet. The sperm and egg cells have both gone through meiosis, which has resulted in them having half the number of chromosomes compared to other cells in the body. When the sperm and egg cells come together, they combine their genetic material, resulting in a new cell with the full number of chromosomes. Meiosis is responsible for creating genetic diversity in a species. When genetic material is exchanged during meiosis, the resulting daughter cells can contain combinations of genetic material that weren’t in the original cell. This means that two genetically identical individuals can still produce offspring that are slightly different from one another. Fun Fact: Meiosis is responsible for human fingerprint patterns! Every human has unique fingerprints due to the random combination of genetic material during meiosis.