What Is A Chromosome?

Ever confuse DNA, Genes, and Chromosomes? If so, don't worry, we straighten all of this out right here!


A chromosome is a long chain of DNA packaged together with a collection of proteins. The human genome (all the genetic information in your cells) is contained in 23 pairs of chromosomes. Each cell has its own complete compete of your genome. The reason eye-ball cells are different from liver cells is that certain liver genes are turned off in eye-ball cells and vice versa.

When a sexually reproducing plant or animal reproduces, half of its chromosomes are shuffled together with half the chromosomes of its sexual partner. The result is a child with half its DNA from its mother and half from its father.

For Teachers

The content of this video meets criteria in the following Disciplinary Core Ideas defined by Next Generation Science Standards. Use our videos to supplement classroom curriculum.


Our videos benefit from guidance and advice provided by experts in science and education. This animation is the result of collaboration between the following scientists, educators, and our team of creatives.

  • Jon Perry
  • Rosemary Mosco
  • Jordan Collver
  • Johana Revel, PhD