Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Transient pair of sister chromatids (identical strands of DNA) joined by a centromere and which have temporarily condensed to facilitate segregation during cell division. Usually found in the nucleus of a dividing eukaryote cell. A chromosome contains the genetic material (DNA) that is passed from parents to offspring. Because chromosomes are distinctly visible only during cell division, reference is commonly made to the diploid number of chromosomes rather than to the strictly correct number of chromatids, which are the units permanently present as chromatin in nondividing cells. Aka replicated chromosome.

See mitosis, meiosis, and mitochondrial chromosome.

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From "Dictionary of Nursing and Individual Health Care"