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In this paper, key features of biological vs. artificial systems are identified, along with a synopsis of important consequences of those features. An artificial substrate that contains these key features is introduced, and examples of the use of those features are given. The concept of an electronic stem cell is described, and its characteristics and subsystems are presented. Electronic stem cells offer a means of configuring a large number of autonomous computational "cells" for a given task. The electronic stem cell has properties similar to the biological counterpart, namely the abilities to self-replicate and to differentiate. This paper presents a design for a reconfigurable building block that can function similar to a biological stem cell, but in the domain of electronic circuitry. The goal is for a single electronic stem cell to, in effect, "grow" into an organism, or in this case, into a desired electronic circuit.