BSIP DUCLOUX / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BSIP DUCLOUX / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Human male chromosomes. Coloured light micrograph of 23 chromosomes from a normal human sperm, with a male sex (Y) chromosome. This sperm, if it were to fertilise an ovum, would result in a male foetus. These chromosomes constitute half of the full karyotype (the total number of chromosomes found in each cell of the human body). Each body cell contains 22 matched pairs of chromosomes, and one sex-determining pair (XX in females, XY in males). One chromosome of each pair comes from the female parent, one from the male. The chromosomes are made up of DNA. Chromosomes carry genes which determine the characteristics of an individual.
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