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Chromosomes and cancer

When cells multiply, each new cell usually gets an exact copy of all 46 chromosomes (23 pairs). But in a cancer cell this genetic copying process often goes out of control. Scientists can identify some cancers just by looking for typical changes in the chromosomes: pieces are often missing, duplicated or rearranged.

Normal chromosomes (above) and rearranged chromosomes from a cancer cell (below).
Normal chromosomes (above) and rearranged chromosomes from a cancer cell (below).
Sharon Horsley, Jill Brown, Sabrina Tosi, Lyndal Kearney, Institute of Molecular Medicine, Oxford

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