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stem cell

noun Cell Biology.
  1. a cell that upon division replaces its own numbers and also gives rise to cells that differentiate further into one or more specialized types, as various B cells and T cells.
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Origin of stem cell

First recorded in 1880–85
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for stem cell

stem cell

noun
  1. histology an undifferentiated cell that gives rise to specialized cells, such as blood cells
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

stem cell in Medicine

stem cell

n.
  1. An unspecialized cell that gives rise to a specific specialized cell, such as a blood cell.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

stem cell in Science

stem cell

  1. An unspecialized cell found in fetuses, embryos, and some adult body tissues that has the potential to develop into specialized cells or divide into other stem cells. Stem cells from fetuses or embryos can develop into any type of differentiated cells, while those found in mature tissues develop only into specific cells. Stem cells can potentially be used to replace tissue damaged or destroyed by disease or injury, but the use of embryonic stem cells for this purpose is controversial. Also called progenitor cell
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

stem cell in Culture

stem cell

A cell from which a variety of other cells can develop through the process of cellular differentiation. Stem cells can produce only a certain group of cells (as with skin stem cells) or any cell in the body (as with embryonic stem cells).

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Note

A major controversy involves the question of whether nonembryonic stem cells should be used for medical purposes.
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.