Where would you locate human cells with 46 chromosomes

This image shows the ends of chromosomes with the telomeres visualized in red. Source: NCI Center for Cancer Research In humans, 46 chromosomes are arranged in 23 pairs, including 22 pairs of chromosomes called autosomes. Autosomes are labeled for reference. Each chromosome pair consists of one chromosome inherited from the mother and one from the father. In addition to the 22 numbered autosomes, humans also have one pair of sex chromosomes called an allosome.

Instead of labeling these chromosome pairs with numbers, allosomes are labeled with letters such as XX and XY. Females have two copies of the X chromosome one inherited from the mother and one from the father. Males have one copy of the X chromosome inherited from the mother and one copy of the Y chromosome inherited from the father. Arranged on the chromosomes are genes. Genes are made of DNA and contain the instructions for building proteins and are integral in making and maintaining the human body.

Position of the gene on the arm cytogenetic bands. The position is dependent on the light and dark bands that appear on the chromosome when stained and is expressed as a two-digit number one digit represents region and one represents band. Sometimes the digits are followed by a decimal point and one or more digits. These additional digits represent the distance from the centromere increasing numeric value indicates farther distance from centromere.

Cen — close to the centromere Ter terminus — close to end of either the p or q arms Tel telomere — close to end of either the p or q arms. Example Gene: Anaplastic lymphoma kinase receptor Chromosomal location: 2p23 Location description: chromosome 2, p arm, position Chromosome location, or cytogenetic location, is one way to describe the location of gene on a chromosome.

Another way to identify the location of a gene is by using the molecular location.


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The sequencing of the base pairs describes the molecular location of the gene on a chromosome. The molecular location is more precise; however, small variations in the address may occur between research groups as a result of varying genome sequencing methods. Cells divide through two processes: mitosis and meiosis. In both processes, diploid cells containing two sets of chromosomes, or 46 chromosomes divide.

What is a chromosome?

However, in meiosis, the parent cell produces four haploid daughter cells each containing half of the parent cells chromosomes, or 23 chromosomes. The critical difference between mitosis and meiosis is that mitosis produces two genetically identical daughter cells, whereas meiosis produces four genetically different daughter cells.

The phases of cell division are similar for both mitosis and meiosis, and both processes result in cytokinesis cytoplasmic division of the daughter cells. However, in meiosis, the cycle occurs twice meiosis I and meiosis II before the four haploid daughter cells are produced.

Another difference between the stages of mitosis and meiosis is that in meiosis, homologous chromosomes pair up during metaphase instead of chromatids. In a homologous pair, one chromosome comes from the mother, and one chromosome comes from the father. When they pass their genes on to you they only pass on one of these versions, and it is completely random which one it will be.


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For example if your mum has brown-eye and blue-eye genes she could pass the blue ones on to you and the brown ones on to your sibling. How do genes affect your health? Your genes are the instruction manual that makes your body work. Sometimes, one or a few bases of the DNA in a gene can vary between people. This is called a variant. A variant means the gene has slightly different instructions to the usual version.

Occasionally, this may causes the gene to give cells different instructions for making a protein, so the protein works differently. Luckily most gene variants have no effect on health. But a few variants do affects proteins that do really important things in your body, and then you can become ill. As a result genetic conditions usually run in families.

The structure of X and Y chromosomes

Scientists have identified over 10, genetic conditions. One genetic condition is called sickle cell anemia.

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People with this illness have a variant in the genes that contain instructions to make haemolglobin proteins. Hemoglobin helps your red blood cells carry oxygen around your body. These sickle cell haemoglobin genes cause red blood cells to be the wrong shape, making it hard for them to carry oxygen around the body.

Not all gene variants cause a genetic condition. Many variants seem to have no effects at all, others may increase your risk of developing a disease. Rarely, there are women who are particularly at risk of developing breast cancer, because they carry some gene variants. This can save lives.

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How does your environment affect you? Your characteristics are affected by your environment as well as your genes. For example you may inherit genes from your parents that should make you tall, but if you have a poor diet growing up your growth could be stunted. To try and understand how much effect your environment can have on you, scientists study identical twins. Identical twins have the same genes, so any differences in personality, health and ability are caused by differences in their environment. Play Troublesome Twin to discover just how much how much your environment can affect you. Why do scientists study genes?

Scientists have made huge breakthroughs in genetic research over the last few years, learning more and more about our genes and how they make our bodies work. Scientists examine our genes to work out family relationships, trace our ancestors, and find genes involved in illnesses. This gives them the tools to come up with better ways to keep us healthy. A big breakthrough in genetic research came in , with the results of the Human Genome Project.

What was the Human Genome Project? The Human Genome Project was an international research study to try and understand our entire genetic code — the complete instruction manual for how our bodies work. Thousands of scientists all over the world worked for over ten years to read every instruction inside every gene of a group of volunteers and put together a picture of the average human genome.

They discovered we have around 20, genes in almost every cell in our bodies. These small differences contribute to our unique features. Our new understanding of the human genome is leading to many advances in how we treat illness and disease. How about Personalised Medicine? Soon everyone could have their genes read. A doctor might use the information to give you specific medicines, tailored for your genes. Some people respond really well to a medicine, some may not respond at all, and others experience bad side effects.

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Scientists are learning how differences in your genes affect your reaction to medicines. These genetic differences will help doctors predict which medicines will work for you, so they can prescribe personalised treatments. Genes can tell us a lot about how to treat and prevent illness, but that's not all Studying the genes of people around the world can also tell us about our ancestors.

What about the genetics of big populations? Studying your genes can reveal where your ancestors came from. Evidence suggests that humans originally came from Africa and spread out across the rest of the world. As humans migrated around the world, tiny variations in their genes developed.