Related topics: stem cells

The consequences of mating at the molecular level

While it is known that stem cells have the ability to develop into all tissues in a precisely regulated process, the way environmental cues affect stem cell behavior has remained poorly understood. In a new study, researchers ...

Cause of oversized placentas in cloning found after two decades

One reason a technique for cloning animals often results in oversized placentas, and hence failed births, has been uncovered in mice by an all-RIKEN team. This finding will help improve the success rate of the cloning method ...

Overcoming genomic imprinting barrier improves mammal cloning

Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT, also known as cloning) technology holds great potential in animal production and regenerative medicine. However, the extremely low efficiency and frequently observed abnormalities in cloned ...

Silencing retroviruses to awaken cell potential

Embryonic stem cells have the potential to differentiate into any type of cell in the human body. Once differentiated though, the newly minted somatic cells live out the rest of their days as that specific cell type and never ...

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Somatic cell

Somatic cells are any cells forming the body of an organism, as opposed to germline cells. In mammals, germline cells (also known as "gametes") are the spermatozoa and ova which fuse during fertilization to produce a cell called a zygote, from which the entire mammalian embryo develops. Every other cell type in the mammalian body—apart from the sperm and ova, the cells from which they are made (gametocytes) and undifferentiated stem cells—is a somatic cell: internal organs, skin, bones, blood, and connective tissue are all made up of somatic cells.

The word "somatic" is derived from the Greek word sōma, meaning "body".

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