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How Chromosomes Can Affect You

Mays Landing, NJ



The number of chromosomes you are born with can affect how the course of your life takes place. Chromosomes contain the genetic information in cells. They are made up of protein and DNA, and typically there are 23 pairs of chromosomes within a cell. But in certain situations, an individual can be born with more or less than 23 pairs of chromosomes. This can drastically alter the course of one’s life.

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Normal sets of chromosomes



When someone is born with fewer or more chromosomes, it can cause a problem with growth, development, and bodily functions. An example of a disorder caused by chromosomal error is Down syndrome. Down syndrome is caused by an extra chromosome 21. It can cause a difference in appearance and affect someone’s mental state. People born with Down syndrome have distinct physical characteristics such as a flattened skull, large tongue, and short stature. People with Down syndrome are at risk of having heart defects and digestive problems. Furthermore, they have a harder time learning than someone born with the correct number of chromosomes.

down syndrome, biology, characteristics, disability, genetics, genes, chromosomes, appearance, hereditary, health
Characteristics of Someone Born With Down Syndrome

Sometimes, if there is a variation in a chromosomal gene, then that can also cause an abnormality. For example, the lactase gene in chromosome 2 can vary. If there is a defect, then someone can be born with lactose intolerance, which basically means that their body can not tolerate dairy. So, some abnormalities in chromosomes can drastically challenge how someone lives, or it can simply alter one’s eating habits.


No one knows how to control the number of chromosomes someone’s born with or how these mutations occur. There could be multiple factors at play, such as genetics and heredity.

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