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Talking Glossary of Genetic Terms

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Eric D. Green, M.D., Ph.D. defines Chromosome

Chromosome

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A chromosome is an organized package of DNA found in the nucleus of the cell. Different organisms have different numbers of chromosomes. Humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes--22 pairs of numbered chromosomes, called autosomes, and one pair of sex chromosomes, X and Y. Each parent contributes one chromosome to each pair so that offspring get half of their chromosomes from their mother and half from their father.

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Chromosome

A chromosome is an organized package of DNA found in the nucleus of the cell. Different organisms have different numbers of chromosomes. Humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes--22 pairs of numbered chromosomes, called autosomes, and one pair of sex chromosomes, X and Y. Each parent contributes one chromosome to each pair so that offspring get half of their chromosomes from their mother and half from their father.

Narration Transcription

A chromosome is the structure housing DNA in a cell. Chromosomes are structurally quite sophisticated, containing elements necessary for processes such as replication and segregation. Each species has a characteristic set of chromosomes with respect to number and organization. For example, humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes--22 pairs of numbered chromosomes called autosomes, 1 through 22, and one pair of sex chromosomes, X and Y. Each parent contributes one chromosome of each pair to an offspring.


Doctor Profile

Eric D. Green, M.D., Ph.D.

Eric D. Green, M.D., Ph.D.

Occupation
Director, NHGRI

Biography
Dr. Green's research focuses on three major areas: First, sequencing and comparing targeted stretches of DNA from a wide variety of species en route to unraveling the complexities of genome function; second, developing innovative research tools and technologies for performing genome analysis; and third, identifying and characterizing genes associated with human disease. In his multiple roles as scientific director of NHGRI, chief of the Genome Technology Branch, and director of the NIH Intramural Sequencing Center (NISC), he has fundamental interests in mapping, sequencing, and interpreting vertebrate genomes.

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