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What's the difference? CHROMOSOMES AND GENES.

Byline: DR MIRIAM STOPPARD

Chromosome Every cell in our body has 23 pairs of chromosomes in its central part, the nucleus, one of each pair from either parent.

These thread-like structures consist of 22 general pairs, plus a pair of sex chromosomes which can be X or Y. If there are two Xs, one from each parent, you're female and if there are an X and a Y, you're male.

Certain genetic conditions stem from chromosomal abnormalities such as Down's syndrome where chromosome 21 has three instead of the usual pair chromosomes.

Gene These are contained within chromosomes in a spiral formation - the double helix - half from the baby's mother, via the egg, and half from her father, via the sperm. Each egg and sperm contains a different mix of the parents' genes so each child is different.

Some genes are 'dominant' like the gene for brown eyes. So a child with one brown-eyed and one blueeyed parent will have brown eyes because that gene prevails. Over a lifetime genes can mutate causing diseases such as cancer.

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Title Annotation:Features; Opinion Column
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Sep 20, 2016
Words:177
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