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Somatic: Wikis


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The term somatic (from the Greek σωματικός) refers to cells of the body, rather than gametes (eggs or sperm). In humans, somatic cells contain two copies of each chromosome (diploid), whereas gametes only contain one copy of each chromosome (haploid). Although all somatic cells of an individual are genetically identical in principle, they evolve a variety of tissue-specific characteristics during the process of differentiation, through epigenetic and regulatory alterations.

Somatic is also defined as relating to the wall of the body cavity, particularly as distinguished from the head, limbs or viscera. It is also of or relating to the portion of the vertebrate nervous system which regulates voluntary movements.[1]

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