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Human and chimpanzee chromosome sets. Composite image of the complete set (karyotype) of human (black and yellow) and chimpanzee (black and white) chromosomes. Chromosomes contain DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), the material that encodes genetic information. The banding, formed by staining, is a unique chromosome identifier. Humans have 46 chromosomes in each of their cell nuclei, consisting of 23 pairs. XY chromosomes (lower right), for a total of 24 chromosomes. The main difference between humans and chimpanzees is chromosome 2 (upper left). In chimpanzees and other great apes, this consists of two chromosomes, 2A and 2B, but in humans these have merged.
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