Guide on Biology and Cell Differentiation

What is the function of the amniotic membrane?

The amniotic membrane forms the wall of the amniotic sac that surrounds the gestating embryo and fetus before birth.  It protects the fetus from the topologically outside environment of the uterus. The amniotic fluid held by the amniotic sac provides a physical shock absorber for the fetus, nutrients, and urine containment.    

What is amniotic membrane made of?

The amniotic membrane is composed of a layer of amniotic epithelial cells, including amniotic stem cells, attached to a fibrous membrane composed of structural proteins like collagens.

What is an amniotic membrane allograft?

An amniotic membrane allograft is produced by removing the cell layer from the amniotic fibrous membrane. This acellular material is used as a protective covering and wound repair promotion material in many different approved surgical procedures.

What is meant by cell differentiation?

Differentiation occurs when a cell with a defined set of properties and capabilities changes in a relatively short period of time to lose some of the original properties while gaining a new set of distinctive properties and capabilities. Differentiation can be induced by outside factors acting upon a cell, or it can be a manifestation of a cell’s autonomous programming.

What is an example of cell differentiation?

Hair follicle cells turning into hair. Epidermal cells turning into skin cells.

What is tissue differentiation?

Tissue differentiation is the result of many different cells that form tissues (e.g., skin, blood, intestines) undergoing differentiation in an integrated fashion to produce the mature form of tissues.

What is the purpose of cell differentiation?

In multicellular organisms, differentiation allows the tissues of the body to separate tissue cell renewal from mature tissue cell functions. Generally, when cells are multiplying for tissue renewal, they are not very good at doing other complex functions like secretion, digestion, building, and metabolizing. This is a beneficial deficiency because these same complex functions also happen to produce chemical agents that can kill cells and mutate their genomic DNA. So, there is an evolutionary benefit (fewer and later cancers) to separating tissue cell renewal into undifferentiated cells; and then having some of the cells produced undergo differentiation to achieve mature tissue functions, but die with their damaged DNA, instead of propagating it with a greater cancer risk before host reproduction. 

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