I always assumed the designations of "forward" and "reverse" strand on DNA were chosen arbitrarily (i.e. the strands could just as easily have been named the other way around).
However, a quick browse of the chromosome maps for Human on the NCBI map viewer seems to imply that in all cases, base numbering starts on the side closest to the centromere. Assuming that this numbering applies to the "forward" strands of the reference genome, does this mean that, for humans at least, there is a policy whereby the forward strand is always the one which contains the centromere at the lowest numerical index?
Also, if this is the case, does anybody know if this convention would apply outside humans?
Thanks for your time.