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Differentiation and the Fate of Cells

As a human embryo develops, its cells become progressively restricted in the types of specialized cells that they can produce. Inner cell mass (ICM) cells of the blastocyst can make any type of body cell. Gastrula-stage cells can give rise to the cells of a given germ layer. Later, cells become even more restricted. For example, the pancreatic bud of the endoderm layer can only make the cells of the pancreas.

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