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Somatic cell

A somatic cell is generally taken to mean any cell forming the body of an organism.

Somatic cells, by definition, are not germline cells.

In mammals, germline cells are the sperm and ova (also known as "gametes") which fuse during fertilization to produce a cell called a zygote, from which the entire mammalian embryo develops.

Every other cell type in the mammalian body, apart from the sperm and ova, the cells from which they are made (gametocytes) and undifferentiated stem cells, is a somatic cell; internal organs skin, bones, blood and connective tissue are all made up of somatic cells.

Note:   The above text is excerpted from the Wikipedia article "Somatic cell", which has been released under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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September 3, 2015

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