Somatic cell

From Academic Kids

A somatic cell is a type of cell in an organism, such as the human body.

Cells can be divided into two types- those that are part of the germline, and cells that are not. Somatic cells are those cells that are not part of the germline.

Your liver is made entirely of somatic cells, your heart is made entirely of somatic cells, your hands are made entirely of somatic cells. Somatic cells are also called "body cells."

The cells in the germline are cells such as the gametes (sperm or ovum,) cells that produce the gametes (such as gametocytes), and even the zygote, because it leads to the production of the gametes.

Genetic material in the cells of your liver, arm or hand, by contrast, will never make it to your children, and hence are not part of the germline.

All somatic cells in humans have 46 chromosomes, making them diploid cells. Human gametes, in contrast, have only 23 chromosomes, making them haploid cells. (But not all non-somatic cells have only 23 chromosomes. Consider the zygote.)

Somatic cells can be used in cloning, by a process called Somatic cell nuclear transfer.

Template:Cellbio-stub

de:Somatische Zelle pl:Komórka somatyczna

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