Apr 6, 2014
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The rod-shaped bodies to be found in the nucleus of every cell in the body. They contain the GENES, or hereditary elements, which establish the characteristics of an individual. Composed of a long double-coiled filament of DNA, they occur in pairs – one from the maternal, the other from the paternal – and human beings possess 46, made up of 23 pairs. The number of chromosomes is specific for each species of animal. Each chromosone can duplicate an exact copy of itself between each cell division. (See GENETIC CODE; GENETICS; HEREDITY; MEIOSIS; SEX CHROMOSOMES.)

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Medical Dictionary

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