⚡Cell Differentiation & Specialisation – GCSE IGCSE 9-1 Biology – Science – Succeed Lightning Video⚡

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Cell Differentiation and Specialization. You were once just a single fertilised
egg cell; a zygote. This single cell began to divide by mitosis, making identical
copies of itself, forming the ball of a few identical cells called an embryo.
These cells eventually became the huge variety of cells present in your body
today, but they all started out the same. We say they were undifferentiated.
Eventually these cells began to specialise for different functions. We
say they became differentiated, controlled by genes turning on and off.
Most of the cells in your body are differentiated and specialised, though
even as adults most animals continue to produce a very small number of
undifferentiated stem cells which can divide into other types of cells. These
may lead to medical breakthroughs in the future.
Specialisation make cells better suited to specific jobs, with unique sub-
cellular features.

Muscle cells can contract, making them good for moving
things. Nerve cells are very long, making them good at transmitting signals. Sperm
cells have a tail, allowing them to propel themselves. Ciliated epithelial
cells have tiny hairlike structures to sweep dust, bacteria, and mucus back out
of the lungs. Unlike animals, many plant cells, found in the meristems, are able to
differentiate throughout the life of the plant. Plants also have specialised cells,
including root hair cells with large surface area for absorbing water, and
no chloroplasts because they get no light.

Xylem cells, which lose their end
walls to form a lignin-strengthened tube for transporting water and minerals. And
phloem cells, which form sieve tubes and companion cells for transporting food.
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