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Module 8: Figure stem cell function

Stem cell proliferation and differentiation.

Proliferation of quiescent stem cells is determined by the balance between growth stimuli and inhibitors. When induced to proliferate, the final process of cell division can be symmetrical or asymmetrical. Symmetrical divisions result in self renewal to maintain the stem cell population. Asymmetrical divisions create two different cells: a stem cell capable of self renewal and a progenitor cell that goes on to divide rapidly to form a population of new cells capable of differentiating into specialized cells with different functions depending on where they are located.