stem cell

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stem cell

1. any precursor cell;
2. a cell with daughter cells that may differentiate into other cell types.
3. a cell capable of maintaining its own number while exporting progeny to one or more cell lineages.

stem cell

n.
An unspecialized cell that can give rise to one or more different types of specialized cells, such as blood cells and nerve cells. Stem cells are present in embryos and in various tissues of adult organisms and are widely used in scientific research.

stem cell

(stem sel)
1. Any precursor cell.
2. A cell with daughter cells that may differentiate into other cell types.

stem cell

a special kind of cell from an EMBRYO, FOETUS or adult, capable of renewing itself under certain conditions, and of becoming specialized cells that make up the different TISSUES and ORGANS of the body A stem cell remains largely undifferentiated and uncommitted to a specific function, until it receives a signal to develop into a specialized cell (see CELL DIFFERENTIATION). An embryonic stem cell derives from a group of cells, the inner cell mass, from a 4–5 day old embryo, called a BLASTOCYST. This group of cells can be removed and cultured into embryonic stem cells. An embryonic germ cell derives from foetal cells destined to be reproductive cells (see GERM LINE). Embryonic stem cells and germ cells have the potential to differentiate into almost any or all of the cell types of the body i.e. they are ‘pluripotent’, but they do not have identical properties. An adult stem cell is an undifferentiated cell occurring in differentiated tissue, such as that of BONE MARROW, BRAIN, SKELETAL MUSCLE, LIVER, SKIN, PANCREAS or the BLOOD, with the capacity to yield specialized cell types of the tissue of origin. However, adult stem cells appear to have the potential to generate specialized cells of another tissue under appropriate conditions, for example cells from bone marrow generating cells resembling NEURONS and other cell types found in the brain. Hence it seems that they are capable of being genetically reprogrammed. The ability of stem cells to proliferate and to differentiate into specialized cell types makes them potentially useful for the repair and replacement of damaged and diseased tissues, see THERAPEUTIC CLONING.

Stem cell

Undifferentiated cell that retains the ability to develop into any one of numerous cell types.

stem cell

(stem sel)
1. Any precursor cell.
2. Cell with daughter cells that may differentiate into other cell types.