Fertilization - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Genetics

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 4 pages of information about Fertilization.
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Fertilization

Fertilization is the fusion of a female's egg cell (oocyte) and a male's sperm cell (spermatozoa) to form the first cell of a new and unique being. While on the surface this sounds like a simple process, there are many factors that make this possible.

Gametes

Gametes are unique from all other cells. Typically, each cell in the human body contains twenty-three pairs of chromosomes (for a total of forty-six). Mature egg and sperm cells contain only one copy of each chromosome (for a total of twenty-three). At fertilization the fusion of the two gametes will create a cell with the appropriate twenty-three pairs of chromosomes (forty-six individual chromosomes) necessary for human development. In this way, one chromosome of each pair will originate from each parent, making the new individual unique from any other person that came before. The specialized process by which the...

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This section contains 1,081 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Fertilization Encyclopedia Article
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Fertilization from Macmillan. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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