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Updated June 18, 2014


A chromosome translocation occurs when a piece of one chromosome breaks off and sticks to another chromosome. There are two types of chromosome translocations - reciprocal and Robertsonian (named for the Dr. that first described it).

A reciprocal translocation occurs when pieces of two different chromosomes exchange places. A Robertsonian translocation occurs when a whole chromosome attaches to another chromosome. In Down syndrome, most translocations are Robertsonian translocations involving chromosome 21.

Pronunciation: Trans” “low” “k” “shun”

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