A Reproductive Lexicon


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embryonic stem cell

Embryonic stem cells are undifferentiated cells taken from the inner cell mass of an embryo. These cells have the ability to give rise to all three of the primary germ cell layers, the ectoderm, endoderm, and mesoderm. Because of this quality, these cells are useful in laboratory work. The stem cells are taken from both unused embryos in IVF and from cloned embryos created using donor eggs.