PHILIPPE PLAILLY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PHILIPPE PLAILLY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Female human chromosome set. Composite image of the complete set (karyotype) of healthy female human chromosomes, on a background of a DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) autoradiogram. The chromosome banding is formed by staining, and each chromosome can be identified by a unique banding pattern. The autoradiogram bands correspond to the genetic code contained in the DNA found in chromosomes. Humans have 46 chromosomes in each of their cell nuclei, consisting of 23 pairs made up of one from each parent. The final XX chromosome pair (lower right), shows that the person is female. Males have an XY chromosome pair instead, but the Y chromosome is missing here.
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