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Lesson 9

Cell Differentiation

Lori Richardson

on 20 October 2014

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Transcript of Lesson 9

Cell Differentiation
The human body contains hundreds of different cell types, and every one of them develops from the single cell that starts the process. How do the cells get to be so different from each other?
Most multicellular organisms pass through an early stage of development called an
which gradually develops into an adult organism.
Life Starts
During development, an organism’s cells become more differentiated and specialized for particular functions.
Differentiated cells carry out the jobs that multicellular organisms need to stay alive
In some organisms, a cell’s role is determined at a specific point in development.
In Mammals
Biologists call cells that are able to specialize and differentiate into all the cell types of the body totipotent.

Only the fertilized egg and the cells produced by the first few cell divisions of embryonic development are truly totipotent
After about four days of development, a human embryo forms into a blastocyst, a hollow ball of cells with a cluster of cells inside known as the inner cell mass.
The cells of the inner cell mass are said to be pluripotent, which means that they are capable of developing into many, but not all, of the body's cell types.
Stem cells are unspecialized cells from which differentiated cells develop.

There are two types of stem cells: embryonic and adult stem cells
Stem Cells
Embryonic stem cells are found in the inner cells mass of the early embryo.
Embryonic Stem Cells
Adult stem cells are multipotent. They can produce many types of differentiated cells.

Adult stem cells of a given organ or tissue typically produce only the types of cells that are unique to that tissue.
Adult Stem Cells
Stem cells offer the potential benefit of using undifferentiated cells to repair or replace badly damaged cells and tissues.

Human embryonic stem cell research is controversial because the arguments for it and against it both involve ethical issues of life and death.
Stem Cell Research
Stem cell research may lead to new ways to repair the cellular damage that results from heart attack, stroke, and spinal cord injuries.

One example is the approach to reversing heart attack damage
Stem Cell Research
Most techniques for harvesting, or gathering, embryonic stem cells cause destruction of the embryo.
Stem Cell Research
Stem Cell Research
Lesson 9
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