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Chemistry LibreTexts

The Difference between Autosomes and Sex Chromosomes

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    We could make an analogy of pairs of socks to pairs of chromosomes. If you had 23 pairs you would have 46 socks. You wear a sock on each foot when you wear socks to keep your feet warm, just like your cells use both sets of chromosomes to function. 

    Each pair of chromosomes is referred to as a homologous pair. Pairs 1-22 of your chromosomes make up your autosomes, with one coming from the father, and one coming from the mother in each pair. Pair 23 is the sex chromosomes, again with one coming from the mother and one from the father. 

    To learn more about this topic, you can go to the DNA From the Beginning Website, and check out the information on, Sex cells have one set of chromosomes; body cells have two