Somatic Cell Definition

Somatic Cell – a cell that is not a GAMETE (sex cell). More than 99 percent of the body’s trillions of cells are somatic cells. Somatic cells are diploid; their nuclei contain the full complement of paired chromosomes and genetic material necessary to encode an organism. When somatic cells divide, their chromosomes replicate so the new daughter cells receive the full complement of paired chromosomes as well.

For further discussion of somatic cells within the context of the structures and functions of genetics, please see the overview section “Genetics and Molecular Medicine.”

See also CELL STRUCTURE AND FUNCTIONCHROMOSOME; CONCEPTIONREPLICATION ERROR; ZYGOTE.

Somatic Cell – definition
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