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Apoptosis - Definition


Apoptosis or programmed cell death is the process by which the cells destroy themselves after receiving a signal. Cell death is a genetically programmed natural phenomenon that enables the elimination of useless cells. There is a balance between apoptosis and the making of new cells so that a surplus of cells can be avoided. When apoptosis doesn't work, the cells can multiply too freely and can be at the root of certain cancers. Apoptosis must be differentiated from necrosis, which is a pathological cell death.