(Willis, VA US)
During most of the life cycle of a cell, the cell is in interphase. At these times, the cell is going about its regular business of respiration, protein manufacture, photosynthesis, etc. Most cells, at some point in their life cycle, divide to form two new (daughter) cells. The first step in the process of cell division is replication, or copying, of each chromosome; this occurs during interphase, when the chromosomes are very long and thin and are massed together as chromatin. Mitosis, or division of the nucleus, occurs next.
Mitosis produces two nuclei identical to each other and identical to the original nucleus.
Mitosis is followed by cytokinesis, or division of the cytoplasm; this separates the two nuclei into two distinct cells. Together, mitosis and cytokinesis produce all new cells of all living things.