Development from a single cell - B5

  • Created by: kira
  • Created on: 23-06-11 09:07

(Notes from the CGP revision guides)

  • Cells in an early embryo can turn into any type of cell.
  • A fertilized egg (zygote) divides by mitosis to produce a bundle of cells - the embryo of the new organism.
  • To start with, the cells in the embryo are all the same. They're called embryonic stem cells.
  • Embryonic stem cells are undifferentiated. This means they're able to divide to produce any type of specialized cell.
  • In humans, all the cells in the embryo are undifferentiated up to the eight egg cell.
  • The process of stem cells becoming specialized is called differentiation. As the cells start to differentiate the embryo begins to develop tissues and organs.
  • All cells contain the same genes but not all genes are active in each cell type. What type of cell a stem cell differentiates into depends on what genes are active in that cell - and so what proteins that cell produces.
  • Adult humans only have stem cells in certain places like bone marrow. These stem…


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