Genetic Engineering - Cloning, DNA, Stem Cells Pros and Cons
Molecular genetics


The future technology

Glossary

These definitions are words that often appear in stem cell research. Here is a list of words you would to know before being able to understand about stem cells.

Definitions
DNA - abbreviation for deoxyribonucleic acid which makes up genes.

Gene - a functional unit of heredity which is a segment of DNA located in a specific site on a chromosome. A gene directs the formation of an enzyme or other protein.

Somatic cell - cell of the body other than egg or sperm.

Somatic cell nuclear transfer - the transfer of a cell nucleus from a somatic cell into an egg from which the nucleus has been removed.

Stem cells - cells that have the ability to divide for indefinite periods in culture and to give rise to specialized cells.

Pluripotent -capable of giving rise to most tissues of an organism.

Totipotent - having unlimited capability. Totipotent cells have the capacity to specialize into extraembryonic membranes and tissues, the embryo, and all postembryonic tissues and organs.

Adapted from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/About/primer/genetics_cell.html

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