Cells divide when:
It is essential that any new cells produced contain genetic information that is identical to the parent cell.
A growing and dividing cell goes through a series of stages called the cell cycle.
The first stages of the cell cycle involve cell growth, then synthesis of new DNA, to replicate the original DNA. The single strand of DNA that makes up each chromosome produces an exact copy of itself.
In mitosis, two cells called daughter cells are produced, each identical to the parent cell.
When looking at cells with a microscope, the length of different stages of the cell cycle can be estimated using the formula: