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(of an immature or stem cell) capable of giving rise to any cell type or (of a blastomere) a complete embryo:‘totipotent embryo cells can differentiate into a hundred different cell types specialized to form such tissues as skin, marrow, and muscle’
- ‘In the early stages after fertilization - immediately after a sperm and egg join together and begin dividing - stem cells are considered totipotent.’
- ‘What he showed next were a series of experiments in which they pushed cultured, totipotent mouse embryonic stem cells to desired neural fates using the various factors he had identified as significant in vivo.’
- ‘Thus, unlike totipotent single-cell embryos, pluripotent embryonic stem cells are specialized cells that have limited developmental capabilities.’
- ‘Here, human or mouse embryonic stem cells, in vitro representatives of the totipotent inner cell mass blastomeres, are placed into culture.’
- ‘For the first few divisions, up to at least the 8-cell stage, all the cells of the tiny embryo are totipotent stem cells.’
Early 20th century: from Latin totus whole + potent.
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