Somatic Cells

The word "somatic" is derived from the Greek word sōma, meaning "body". A somatic cell is any biological cell forming the body of an organism; that is, in a multicellular organism, any cell other than a gamete,germ cell, gametocyte or undifferentiated stem cell. By contrast, gametes are cells that fuse during sexual reproduction, for organisms that reproduce sexually; Germ cells are cells that give rise to gametes; Stem cells are cells that can divide through mitosis and differentiate into diverse specialized cell types. For example, in mammals, somatic cells make up all the internal organs, skin, bones, blood, and connective tissue. By contrast, mammalian germ cells give rise to spermatozoa and ova which fuse during fertilization to produce a cell called a zygote, which develops into an embryo. Somatic cells are diploid.

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