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GiveLife.ca

    
Glossary
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Globe and Mail Update
Saturday, August 18, 2001

Apheresis
A procedure to remove normal or abnormal white blood cells.

Bone Marrow
A highly vascular, modified connective tissue found in the long bones and certain flat bones of vertebrates that is the origin of blood cells.

DNA
Abbreviation for deoxyribonucleic acid which makes up genes.

Gene
A functional unit of heredity which is a segment of DNA located in a specific site on a chromosome. A gene directs the formation of an enzyme or other protein.

Plasma:
The liquid portion of blood, excluding the cellular elements but including the proteins.

Platelets:
Cell fragments in blood which are involved in blood clotting.

Somatic cell
Cell of the body other than egg or sperm.

Somatic cell nuclear transfer
The transfer of a cell nucleus from a somatic cell into an egg from which the nucleus has been removed.

Stem cells
Cells that have the ability to divide for indefinite periods in culture and to give rise to specialized cells. There are three types of stem cells:

  • Totipotent cells: These form as the fertilized egg starts to divide and can develop into a complete individual.
  • Pluripotent cells: The totipotent cells group together into a blastocyst. The pluripotent cells inside can develop into any tissue in the body.
  • Multipotent cells: These are found in mature tissue, and have a limited ability to grow into different types of cells.

Source: The U.S. National Institutes of Health


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