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Somatic cells

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Definition

noun, singular: somatic cell

The word “somatic” is derived from the Greek word soma, meaning “body”. Hence, all body cells of an organism – apart from the sperm and egg cells, the cells from which they arise (gametocytes) and undifferentiated stem cells – are somatic cells.


Supplement

Examples of somatic cells are cells of internal organs, skin, bones, blood and connective tissues. In comparison, the somatic cells contain a full set of chromosomes whereas the reproductive cells contain only half.


Word origin: Gk sōmatikós of = pertaining to the body.
Synonym: body cells.
Compare: sex cells.