Human chromosomes. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of human chromosomes (strands) during prometaphase, an early stage of mitotic cell division. Each chromosome actually consists of two identical copies, or chromatids, replicated at an earlier stage. They have condensed in preparation for cell division, during which one chromatid will go to each daughter cell. Chromo- somes are present in the nucleus of every cell of the body. They consist of genetic material, DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), in association with proteins. Most human cells contain 46 chromosomes, 23 inherited from the mother and 23 from the father. Magnification: x1680 at 6x7cm size.
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