Differentiation

Definition

noun

(developmental biology) The normal process by which a less specialized cell develops or matures to become more distinct in form and function.

(medicine) The determination of which among the diseases with similar symptoms is the one that the patient is suffering, especially through a systematic method.


Supplement

(developmental biology) For example, a single-celled zygote develops into a multicellular embryo that further develops into a more complex multisystem of various cell types of a fetus. The cell size, shape, polarity, metabolism and responsiveness to signals change dramatically such that the less specialized cell becomes more specialized and acquires a more specific role.

Compare: dedifferentiation.

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