Chromosome

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In the nucleus of each cell, the DNA molecule is packaged into thread-like structures called chromosomes. Each chromosome is made up of DNA tightly coiled many times around proteins called histones that support its structure.

Chromosomes are not visible in the cell’s nucleus—not even under a microscope—when the cell is not dividing. However, the DNA that makes up chromosomes becomes more tightly packed during cell division and is then visible under a microscope. Most of what researchers know about chromosomes was learned by observing chromosomes during cell division.

Each chromosome has a constriction point called the centromere, which divides the chromosome into two sections, or “arms.” The short arm of the chromosome is labeled the “p arm.” The long arm of the chromosome is labeled the “q arm.” The location of the centromere on each chromosome gives the chromosome its characteristic shape, and can be used to help describe the location of specific genes.

Genetic terms glossaries.

Glossary of Genetics | Glossary of genetic testing terms | Dictionary of genetics | Rare diseases

Common genetic disorders This list of genetic, orphan and rare diseases is provided for informational purposes only and is not comprehensive.

Common genetic disorders list A-Z Common genetic disorders list A-Z
* achondroplasia * alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency
* antiphospholipid syndrome * attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
* autism * autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease
* breast cancer * charcot-marie-tooth disease
* colon cancer * cri du chat syndrome
* crohn's disease * cystic fibrosis
* dercum disease * down syndrome
* duane syndrome * duchenne muscular dystrophy
* factor v leiden thrombophilia * familial hypercholesterolemia
* familial mediterranean fever * fragile x syndrome
* gaucher disease * hemochromatosis
* hemophilia * holoprosencephaly
* ​huntington's disease * inborn errors of metabolism
* klinefelter syndrome * marfan syndrome
* ​methylmalonic acidemia * myotonic dystrophy
* neurofibromatosis * noonan syndrome
* osteogenesis imperfecta * parkinson's disease
* phenylketonuria * poland anomaly
* porphyria * progeria
* prostate cancer * retinitis pigmentosa
* severe combined immunodeficiency * sickle cell disease
* skin cancer * spinal muscular atrophy
* tay-sachs disease * thalassemia
* trimethylaminuria * turner syndrome
* velocardiofacial syndrome * wilson disease

A-Z of Genetic Diseases (External)

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