Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In biology, the substance of the body of an animal or plant, in contradistinction to the germ-plasm, or the substance of the reproductive organs. Same as soma, somatoplasm.
“When the respective functions and relative importance, from a genetic point of view, of germ-plasm and body-plasm are understood, it must be fairly evident that the natural point of attack for any attempt at race betterment which aims to be fundamental rather than wholly superficial, must be the germ-plasm rather than the body-plasm.”
“Imagine this process taking place through generation after generation of threadworms, and one will realize that the germ-plasm was passed on directly from one generation to the next; that in each generation it gave rise to body-plasm, but that it did not at any time lose its identity or continuity, a part of the germ-plasm being always set aside, undifferentiated, to be handed on to the next generation.”
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