Sex chromosomeeither of a pair of chromosomes that determine whether an individual is male or female. The sex chromosomes of human beings and other mammals are designated by scientists as X and Y. In humans the sex chromosomes comprise one pair of the total of 23 pairs of chromosomes.
Chromosomes are thread-like molecules that carry hereditary information for everything from height to eye color. They are made of protein and one molecule of DNA, which contains an organism's genetic instructions, passed down from parents. In humans, animals, and plants, most chromosomes are arranged in pairs within the nucleus of a cell.
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Sex Linked Genes. A particularly important category of genetic linkage has to do with the X and Y sex chromosomes. These not only carry the genes that determine male and female traits but also those for some other characteristics as well.
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Sex linkage applies to genes that are located on the sex chromosomes. These genes are considered sex-linked because their expression and inheritance patterns differ between males and females. While sex linkage is not the same as genetic linkagesex-linked genes can be genetically linked see bottom of page.
Back to Health A to Z. Chromosomes are packages of genes found in every cell in the body. There are 2 types of chromosome, called the sex chromosomes, that determine the genetic sex of a baby.
Being a man or a woman is a matter of gender identity, not a simple matter of a chromosomal algebra. Most males have XY chromosomes and most women have XX chromosomes. But there are girls and women who have XY chromosomes.
The Y chromosome is one of the two sex chromosomes in humans the other is the X chromosome. The sex chromosomes form one of the 23 pairs of human chromosomes in each cell. The Y chromosome spans more than 59 million building blocks of DNA base pairs and represents almost 2 percent of the total DNA in cells. Each person normally has one pair of sex chromosomes in each cell.