Differentiation Is Irreversible

The process of cell differentiation is irreversible.  Therefore, once an undifferentiated cell (also called a stem cell) differentiates into a specialized cell, the decision is final and cannot be reversed.

20170419 differentiation is irreversible
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Although a differentiated cell cannot go back to being a stem cell again, it has special abilities to help the body.  For example, if a stem cell differentiates into a nervous cell, it gains the ability to send information.  On the other hand, if a stem cell differentiates into an epithelial cell, it gains the ability to resist heat and moisture.

Therefore, although differentiation is irreversible, it is more than worth it.  In fact, it is necessary for an organism’s survival to have many types of differentiated cells operating within its body.



Next Generation Science Standards:

MS-LS1-3 Use argument supported by evidence for how the body is a system of interacting subsystems composed of groups of cells.

HS-LS1-2 Develop and use a model to illustrate the hierarchical organization of interacting systems that provide specific functions within multicellular organisms.

What Science Does this Comic Teach?

Unit: Anatomy

⇒Chapter: Immunology

⇒Topic: Differentiation is Irreversible

Additional Information


Or cell differentiation, this noun describes the process in which a cell selectively activates specific parts of its DNA in order to become a specialized cell with specific functions.
For more info, view this  comic:


This adjective is used to describe a cell that has not gone through the process of cell differentiation.


DNA is the genetic material that defines an organism’s traits and characteristics.

Stem Cell

It stands for an undifferentiated cell that has not gone through the process of differentiation.  There are various types of stem cells.

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