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Stem Cell Epigenetic: Chromatin Modification

Pluripotent stem cells have the ability to differentiate into many different cell types that constitute the body. Some characteristics of stem cells are their ability to self-renew, to divide symmetrically or asymmetrically, to differentiate into different cell types, and to stay potent for long periods of time.

Though stem cells and differentiated cells contain the same DNA, they are phenotypically different because they express different subsets of proteins. Epigenetics is one mechanism that allows this differential expression of genes between cells in the body. It allows for the switching on and off of genes that define the characteristics of cells. An advantageous factor of epigenetic regulation is that it can be induced in response to extracellular cues. An epigenetic change is a reversible change that alters ...

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