dushash

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Cells die by apoptosis (where the cell content remains inside the cell, and inflammation does not occur) or necrosis (cell membrane is ruptured, and the released cell content causes a massive inflammatory response). Senescence is not cell death, but cell is "arrested" in non-division state - kinda like frozen. Why do we need this for MCAT?
 
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Doctor Dream

Eating the 5 pancakes
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You could also think of apoptosis as controlled or healthy cell death, where the contents of the cell can be recycled and used again. Classic example of apoptosis is during embryogenesis, when skin cells forming a web between fingers are destroyed. Necrosis is unhealthy, dushash described it pretty well.

Also note that the checkpoints in mitosis use apoptosis or senescence to stop potentially harmful cells from dividing. Apoptosis and senescence are cell controlled, necrosis is the uncontrolled death of a cell.
 
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kanda1o

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Aug 5, 2015
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Important to remember too, with necrosis, because the cell ruptures and it's not controlled, if viral-infected, the cells contents can damage near by cells following necrosis! As Doctor Dream said, apoptosis is a controlled or programmed cell death.