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March 1961

The Human Chromosomes

Author Affiliations

Assistant Professor of Biophysics and Pediatrics, University of Colorado Medical Center.

Am J Dis Child. 1961;101(3):379-398. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1961.04020040107011

The purpose of this paper is to present a nonencyclopedic review of this rapidly growing field. The focus will be on the new methodologies involved, their accomplishments, their limitations, and their potentialities, in the hope of enabling the reader to examine with more understanding the many publications appearing in the clinical literature on the chromosomes of man. Development within the last 3 to 4 years of techniques involving in vitro culture and cytogenetic analysis, which have made possible routine examination of the human chromosomes, represents one of the important recent achievements in human genetics. Cell samples from various organs can easily be taken from any patient and grown into stable cultures suitable for mitotic examination, without change in chromosomal constitution.1

The carriers of the hereditary elements of cells, the chromosomes, are linear, threadlike bodies which are morphologically distinct only during the mitotic phase of the nucleus. They have a

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