Chromosome 8 is one of the 23 pairs of chromosomes in humans. People normally have two copies of this chromosome. Chromosome 8 spans about 145 million base pairs (the building material of DNA) and represents between 4.5 and 5.0% of the total DNA in cells.
The chromosome has two arms, 8p and 8q. The short arm, 8p, has about 45 million base pairs, about 1.5% of the genome, and includes 484 genes and 110 pseudogenes; about 8% of its genes are involved in brain development and function, and about 16% are involved in cancer. A unique feature of 8p is a big region of about 15 megabases that appears to have a high mutation rate, and which shows an immense divergence between human and chimpanzee, suggesting that its high mutation rates have contributed to the evolution of the human brain.
Identifying genes on each chromosome is an active area of genetic research. Because researchers use different approaches to predict the number of genes on each chromosome, the estimated number of genes varies. Chromosome 8 is likely to contain between 700 and 1,000 genes.
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