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.
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
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