Know Your Chromosomes
A chromosome is the thread-like structure that’s found in cells’ nucleus. Chromosome is composed of single molecule of DNA, and proteins. It is made up of elements that are necessary for replication and segregation.
Humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes, hence a total of 46 chromosomes:
~ 22 pairs of numbered chromosomes known as autosomes
~ 1 pair of sex chromosomes -> X and Y
~ One chromosome is contributed by each parent to each pair
~ We get half of our chromosomes from our mother & half from our father
~ We always inherit the mitochondrial DNA from our mother
The term “chromosome” comes from the Greek words for color - chroma and body - soma because they are strongly stained by the colorful dyes used in research. Chromosomes have a major role to play during cell divisions/replications. They are responsible for:
Keeping the DNA intact and evenly distributed among cells
Accurately copying and distribution the DNA in the cells
Any change in the Chromosomal structure or number in new cells after cell division may lead to health issues/diseases.
Females have 2 X chromosomes
Males have one X & one Y chromosome
Any irregularity in the number of sex chromosomes can lead to grave issues like mental retardation and Turner syndrome.
As we mentioned above, chromosomes have DNA, and DNA is the storage of all information about each individual - it can be referred to as the blueprint of our lives. Decoding our DNA and understanding it can open up a whole new world of caring for ourselves according to our individual requirements. DNA can be decoded and studied with a genetic test - an individual taking a genetic test can:
Know more about their body’s requirements in terms of food, nutrients and exercise
Know about the diseases or health conditions they are susceptible to
Take preventive actions for such conditions
Modify their lifestyle according to what suits them the best
Want to know more about the world of DNA? Click here.