JAMES KING-HOLMES / ICRF / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JAMES KING-HOLMES / ICRF / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Cytogeneticist with a human karyotype showing a defect; there are three copies of Chromosome 8, a common finding in certain leukaemias. A karyotype shows the full complement of chromosomes in a somatic (non-sex) cell, arranged in numbered homologous pairs. The chromosomes are stained and photographed through a light microscope during the metaphase stage of cell division. A print of the photograph is cut up and arranged as a set of pairs of chromosomes to facilitate comparison of the structures; any abnormalities of structure or number may give rise to defects in the individual (such as Down's Syndrome and some leukaemias).
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