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rod-shaped structure carrying genes: a rod-shaped structure, usually found in pairs in a cell nucleus, that carries the genes that determine sex and the characteristics an organism inherits from its parents.

A human body cell usually contains 46 chromosomes arranged in 23 pairs.

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
chromosome (noun)
any of the rod-shaped or threadlike DNA-containing structures of cellular organisms that are located in the nucleus of eukaryotes, are usually ring-shaped in prokaryotes (as bacteria), and contain all or most of the genes of the organism , also the genetic material of a virus - compare chromatin
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