Inside the nucleus, DNA is wound
and coiled into long strands. What are these strands called?
DNA is really long. In fact, if you took all the DNA
from a single human cell and laid it out end to end, it would be about two meters
long. So, how does all this DNA fit
inside the nucleus of the cell, which is so tiny that it can’t even be seen with the
naked eye? The answer is that it’s wound and
coiled to make it more compact. You can think of this process as
being a bit like folding your clothes up so that you can fit them all inside your
suitcase when you go on holiday.
Although we often talk about DNA as
if it’s one long molecule, it’s actually split up into many strands, which we call
chromosomes. Although we’ve only shown nine
here, a typical human body cell contains 46 chromosomes, and they’re stored inside
the nucleus. We have therefore determined that
the long strands of DNA that are found inside the nucleus are called