I'm wondering about a few technicalities of crossover in meiosis. The point of crossover is to create new chromosomes that don't have the same allele combinations as the original two chromosomes. Usually, the chromosomes are cut at the same place on both chromosomes, and each piece is then stitched to that place on the other. This is to avoid unequal recombination, a scenario in which one chromosome has several instances of a gene and the other no instance at all. I'm wondering how the molecular machinery knows where to cut.
So here's my question: How does the molecular machinery choose where to cut a chromosome for recombination?
This question has two parts: At what type of place does it occur (does the machinery choose a completely random place, regardless of where genes start and end, does it just cut at the start of genes, or does it do something else)? Given that it happens at this type of place (e.g. start of a gene), how does it decide that it will cut here (the start of this gene) and not there (the start of that gene)?