PUBLIC HEALTH ENGLAND / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PUBLIC HEALTH ENGLAND / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
FISH micrograph of abnormal chromosomes. FISH (fluorescence in-situ hybridisation) is a technique that highlights a particular gene or chromosome for analysis. Here, it is being used on whole chromosomes to find abnormalities. Chromosomes contain genes, which are lengths of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) that control specific functions in an organism. Humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes. They appear X shaped and are made of a central zone called a centromere (pink), with long extensions called arms (blue) on either side. In the green chromosomes, an abnormality can be seen. There has been a translocation (swapping) of chromosomal pieces between one green chromosome and a pink/blue chromosome (lower centre).
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