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chromosome vs. chromatid

chromosome vs. chromatid: What’s the difference?

A chromosome is a threadlike structure in cells that consists of a single molecule of DNA. Chromosomes are what carries the genes (in humans, it holds 23 pairs of genes). When cells divide, the chromosome splits into two identical strands called chromatids. Each chromatid then becomes a chromosome in each new cell that is formed.

[ kroh-muh-sohm ]
  1. any of several threadlike bodies, consisting of chromatin, that carry the genes in a linear order: the human species has 23 pairs, designated 1 to 22 in order of decreasing size and X and Y for the female and male sex chromosomes respectively.
[ kroh-muh-tid ]
  1. one of two identical chromosomal strands into which a chromosome splits longitudinally preparatory to cell division.

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