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embryonic stem cell

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Cells obtained from an embryo in the blastula phase, when they are still only a few days old. Because they have only begun to differentiate, these cells have the capability of developing into any cell in the human body, a fact which makes them potentially important in medicine. (See stem cell.)

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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