Chromosomes. Computer artwork of human chromosomes. Humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes, with one of each pair being inherited from each parent. The chromosomes carry the genes that control an individual's growth and development. Genes are lengths of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) that contain recipes for the proteins that make up the body. Chromosomes only have an X-shape during replication. At other times the DNA exists as a long thread.
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