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Cell. 2008 Feb 22;132(4):559-62. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2008.02.003.

Germ cells are forever.

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  • 1HHMI and Kimmel Center for Biology and Medicine of the Skirball Institute, Department of Cell Biology, New York University School of Medicine, 540 First Avenue, New York, NY 10016, USA.


Germ cells are the only cell type capable of generating an entirely new organism. In order to execute germline-specific functions and to retain the capacity for totipotency, germ cells repress somatic differentiation, interact with a specialized microenvironment, and use germline-specific networks of RNA regulation.

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