Chromosome can be thought of as the body’s gene cataloging system. There are 23 pairs of chromosomes in each cell in our bodies (for a total of 46 chromosomes in each cell), and each chromosome is made up of proteins and long strands of gene–carrying DNA. We receive 23 chromosomes from our fathers and 23 from our mothers. The 23rd pair of chromosomes determines gender, either labeled as XX for females or XY for males (named so after the actual shape these chromosomes take). Before a cell divides into two new cells, the chromosomes duplicate themselves so that they can deliver DNA to each new cell being formed.