How many of each kind of chromosome does a body cell have?

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Most human cells are called somatic cells, meaning they are not cells produced for sexual reproduction.  Somatic cells in humans are diploid, meaning they have two copies of each human chromosome.  There are 23 pairs of human chromosomes (22 autosome pairs and 1 pair of sex chromosomes) for a total of 46 chromosomes.  The one exception here are gametes, or sperm or egg cells created for sexual reproduction.  These cells are haploid, meaning they have only one of each chromosome for a total of 23 chromosomes.  This is so that when a sperm and egg cell combine to form a zygote during fertilization, they produce a diploid cell with 46 chromosomes.

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