CNRI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CNRI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
False-colour light micrograph of a normal set of human chromosomes, the strands of DNA which lie within the nucleus of each human cell and carry the genetic code. Chromosomes are visible with the light microscope only during cell division, either at mitosis or meiosis. During cell division they contract in length, becoming short thick rods as seen here. At mitosis these rods divide into two equal parts, ultimately forming two identical daughter nuclei. The nucleus of each human cell contains 46 chromosomes in total, 23 of maternal and 23 of paternal origin. Magnification: x1000 at 6x7cm, x500 at 35mm size.
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