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The Collaborative International Dictionary
Germ cell

Germ \Germ\ (j[~e]rm), n. [F. germe, fr. L. germen, germinis, sprout, but, germ. Cf. Germen, Germane.]

  1. (Biol.) That which is to develop a new individual; as, the germ of a fetus, of a plant or flower, and the like; the earliest form under which an organism appears.

    In the entire process in which a new being originates . . . two distinct classes of action participate; namely, the act of generation by which the germ is produced; and the act of development, by which that germ is evolved into the complete organism.

  2. That from which anything springs; origin; first principle; as, the germ of civil liberty.

  3. (Biol.) The germ cells, collectively, as distinguished from the somatic cells, or soma. Germ is often used in place of germinal to form phrases; as, germ area, germ disc, germ membrane, germ nucleus, germ sac, etc.

  4. A microorganism, especially a disease-causing bacterium or virus; -- used informally, as, the don't eat food that falls on the floor, it may have germs on it.

    Disease germ (Biol.), a name applied to certain tiny bacterial organisms or their spores, such as Anthrax bacillus and the Micrococcus of fowl cholera, which have been demonstrated to be the cause of certain diseases; same as germ[4]. See Germ theory (below).

    Germ cell (Biol.), the germ, egg, spore, or cell from which the plant or animal arises. At one time a part of the body of the parent, it finally becomes detached, and by a process of multiplication and growth gives rise to a mass of cells, which ultimately form a new individual like the parent. See Ovum.

    Germ gland. (Anat.) See Gonad.

    Germ stock (Zo["o]l.), a special process on which buds are developed in certain animals. See Doliolum.

    Germ theory (Biol.), the theory that living organisms can be produced only by the evolution or development of living germs or seeds. See Biogenesis, and Abiogenesis. As applied to the origin of disease, the theory claims that the zymotic diseases are due to the rapid development and multiplication of various bacteria, the germs or spores of which are either contained in the organism itself, or transferred through the air or water. See Fermentation theory.

Germ cell

Germ cell \Germ cell\ (Biol.) A cell, of either sex, directly concerned in the production of a new organism.

germ cell

n. (context cytology English) A cell that is part of the germ line: a gametocyte, an ovum or a sperm cell.

germ cell

n. a spermatozoon or an ovum [syn: reproductive cell, sex cell]

Germ cell

A germ cell is any biological cell that gives rise to the gametes of an organism that reproduces sexually. In many animals, the germ cells originate in the primitive streak and migrate via the gut of an embryo to the developing gonads. There, they undergo meiosis, followed by cellular differentiation into mature gametes, either eggs or sperm. Unlike animals, plants do not have germ cells set aside from in early development. Instead, germ cells can come from somatic cells in the adult (such as the floral meristem of flowering plants).

Usage examples of "germ cell".

Any future modification to the Biocom can be accomplished by genetic therapy, but will not affect offspring unless affected at the germ cell level.

If the cell that an error occurs in happens to be a germ cell (sperm or egg), the error will be heritable and appear in all the cells of the offspring it's passed on to.

She struggled with it every single day, the way that a germ cell would battle the white blood cells that strove to kill it.

The inevitable final remainder which doubtless constitutes the toughest element will have to be dealt with appropriately, since it represents a natural selection which upon liberation is to be regarded as a germ cell of a new Jewish development.

Are we saying that route maps can be encoded into the DNA of just one germ cell?

It had died in the fire, and a new germ cell would have to be cut, but that was low on Copernick's list of priorities.