The human body is a very wondrous and complex creation. Our bodies are made up of many millions of cells, each of which works together in an amazing complexity that we are barely aware of.
Most of the time we take this for granted, we go about our daily routines and barely give a thought to the amazing and complex processes that are taking place inside us.
Pregnancy makes us very aware of the miracle of life and when something goes wrong we want to look deeper at how our bodies work.
To explain what a Trisomy is we will need to take this closer look and examine how our bodies are formed and how they manage to do all those amazing things.

Our bodies are truly wondrous. When all is well they work together in perfect harmony. How does our body know what to do?
Most of us are aware that within our bodies are many organs such as the kidneys, liver, stomach, brain etc.

Each organ is actually made up of millions of tiny cells not visible to the naked eye. In actuality there are over 100 trillion cells within our bodies. Without us being aware these cells co-ordinate and synchronise all our bodily functions.

Each and every one of the cells within our bodies (except for red blood cells) contains the entire human genome. That is, all of the genetic information necessary to create a human being. This information is held encoded in the nucleus of each cell. The nucleus is quite complex in itself. The parts, which we are concerned about, are the chromosomes.
Inside each and every nucleus (except egg and sperm cells which contain only 1 of each pair and therefore only half the DNA) there are 46 chromosomes, made up of 23 pairs. One chromosome in each pair is given by each of the parents. In turn these chromosomes are made up of long chains of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). In fact within these 46 chromosomes there is over 6 feet of DNA if we were to stretch it out.

Each of the 46 chromosomes contains the DNA for hundreds of thousands of individual genes. These genes are the actual units of heredity. The information is encoded in what scientists call base pairs, subunits of DNA.
Each gene is actually a segment of double stranded DNA that holds the recipe for making the specific molecule, usually a protein. These recipes are spelled out in varying sequences of the four chemical bases in DNA: adenine (A), thymine (T), guanine (G), and cytosine (C). The bases form interlocking pairs that can fit together in only one way, that is A pairs with T and G pairs with C. These are the base pairs.

The 50,000 to 100,000 genes in the cell nucleus are responsible for determining the shape of proteins. Proteins are made up of amino acids, the essential building blocks of life and which are responsible for all organ and chemical activities.


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While all care has been taken the information contained in this web site is not written by a medical professional and as such should not replace the valuable and personal information of your own health care professionals. SOFT does not promote or recommend any specific therapy, treatment or course of action. SOFT is an independent organisation and does not support any particular political or religious point of view. Individuals or organisations referred to, do not necessarily endorse this publication or the views of SOFT.

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