Make A Karyotype

A karyotype is an organized profile of a person's chromosomes. Two chromosomes specify gender — XX for female and XY for male. The rest are arranged in pairs, numbered 1 through 22, from largest to smallest. This arrangement helps scientists quickly identify chromosomal alterations that may result in a genetic disorder.

To make a karyotype, scientists take a picture of the chromosome from one cell, cut them out, and arrange them using size, banding pattern, and centromere position as guides.

View a printable PDF of a karyotype

Funding provided by grant 51006109 from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Precollege Science Education Initiative for Biomedical Research.


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