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Human karyotypes for teaching

This site is a cooperative venture between ZooWeb and the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene. These karyotypes are intended for use in teaching, to help students study human chromosomes. Copyright for these images remains with the State Laboratory of Hygiene, apply to them for permission for any other use than non-profit teaching.

Each karyotype is available in one of three forms:

  • The original unmodified smear. These may have extra material, and often have some chromosomes crossed, which makes them less useful for a class exercise in which students cut apart and arrange the individual chromosomes.
  • A copy of the original, with extraneous materials removed, crossed chromosomes separated, and all chromosomes separated slightly to faciliate cutting apart of the chromosomes in a printed copy. This form is intended for student use in an general biology class.
  • A "key", with the chromosomes arranged in standard order.

This page is still to a degree, under construction. There are keys missing for some karyotypes. I hope to include more information on each type soon. Please let me know if you find any errors. For some hints on using these karyotypes in teaching, click here.

So far, the following karyotypes are available. We hope to continue adding more kinds as they become available.

For technical information on the methodology by which these smears were created click here.

This site was last modified on 28 September 2003.

Do you have suggestions for this page? Please email Larry Phelps (

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