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Gut: Stem and Progenitor Cells in Adults

Stem and progenitor cells have the ability to differentiate into target cells to regenerate specific tissues of the body. Once fully differentiated, cells lose the ability to divide. Progenitor cells are limited in the number of divisions due to being more specialized, whereas stem cells can have limitless division. Therefore, the regulation of self-renewal, which is the ability to divide into more uncommitted stem cells, is important for population control. Self-regulation of these stem cells further preserves the population by maintaining control of the number of stem cells and differentiating to meet the demands of the body.

The gastrointestinal tract of an adult specializes in the digestion of food, absorption of nutrients, and expulsion of waste. Due to the change in pH and the peristaltic movements ...

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