DNA, Chromosomes, and Cell Division

  • Martha B. Keagle


The molecule deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is the raw material of inheritance and ultimately influences all aspects of the structure and functioning of the human body. A single molecule of DNA, along with associated proteins, comprises a chromosome. Chromosomes are located in the nuclei of all human cells (with the exception of mature red blood cells), and each human cell contains 23 different pairs of chromosomes.

Genes are functional units of genetic information that reside on each of the 23 pairs of chromosomes. These units are linear sequences of nitrogenous bases that code for protein molecules necessary for the proper functioning of the body. The genetic information contained within the chromosomes is copied and distributed to newly created cells during cell division. The structure of DNA provides the answer to how it is precisely copied with each cell division and to how proteins are synthesized.


Telomere Length Sister Chromatid Synaptonemal Complex Nucleolar Organizer Region Constitutive Heterochromatin 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Allied Health, College of Agriculture and Natural ResourcesUniversity of ConnecticutStorrsUSA

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