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Chromosomes are part of most types of cells in the body. Each chromosome has a single molecule of DNA.
Humans have 46 chromosomes (23 pairs). Half of a person's chromosomes come from the mother and half from the father. One of the 23 pairs are the sex chromosomes, X and Y. A female inherits an X chromosome from each birth parent (XX). A male inherits an X chromosome from their mother and a Y chromosome from their father (XY).
Changes in chromosomes can cause problems with how the body works. They can cause a genetic condition, such as Down syndrome.
Current as of: April 4, 2023
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & Siobhan M. Dolan MD, MPH - Reproductive Genetics & E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine