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the cell resulting from the union of an ovum and a spermatozoon (including the organism that develops from that cell)


A fluid-filled sphere formed about 5 days after fertilization of an ovum that is made up of an outer ring of cells and inner cell mass. THis is the structure that implants in the endometrium of the uterus.

cell differention

process by which unspecialized cells develop into their mature forms and functions

germ layers

most animals have three layers of cells early in embryonic development each layer gives risse to different body structures


the inner germ layer that develops into the lining of the digestive and respiratory systems


the middle germ layer that develops into muscle and bone and cartilage and blood and connective tissue


the outer germ layer that develops into skin and nervous tissue


having the ability to give rise to unlike cells


cell with limited potential to develop into many types of differentiated cells

embryonic stem cells

an undifferentiated cell, taken from an embryo that has potential to give rise to various other cell or tissue types

adult stem cells

Cells present in adult tissues that generate replacements for nondividing differentiated cells that can be of great therapeutic potential.

growth factors

broad group of proteins that stimulate cell division

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