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Cellular differentiation

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Cellular differentiation is a concept from developmental biology describing the process by which cells acquire a "type". The morphology of a cell may change dramatically during differentiation, but the genetic material remains the same, with a few exceptions. A cell that is able to differentiate into many cell types is known as "pluripotent". These are also known as stem cells. A cell that is able to differentiate into all cell types is known as "totipotent".

In mammals, only the zygote and early embryonic cells are totipotent, while in plants, many differentiated cells can become totipotent with simple laboratory techniques.



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