Pluripotent Stem Cells, Embryonic

Stem cells possess two unique characteristics: an ability to produce daughter cells with identical competence to become specialized cells (i.e., self-renewal) and a capability to develop into specialized cells (i.e., differentiation). Developing animal and human embryos have been utilized as a source to establish stem cells in culture dishes. This is because developing embryos have groups of cells that are not fully determined to become a unique specialized cell type (e.g., blood, bone, intestine, muscle, neuron, skin, etc.). Stem cells derived from early embryos possess a superior capability to produce a wide variety of specialized cells (i.e., pluripotent). However, unlike fertilized eggs, embryo-derived stem cells cannot produce all of the specialized cells due to the genetic memory of the developmental process that they have gone ...

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