Why and how do cell die?

               Cell Death              

Well, cells are much like us although a single unit of us and nevertheless die like us. They are either murdered/killed (Necrosis) or they commit suicide (Apoptosis) also called programmed cell death. Let’s discuss these two entities and their subtypes.

Necrosis (killed) – Killing is almost always caused by something outside the cell. On the basis of how they look under the microscope, they are categorized into different groups.

  • Coagulative – these are much like converting raw eggs into boiled eggs. They are firm in structure and the original structure of the cell is preserved but there’s no nucleus. Most of the organs when they don’t receive blood supply, usually due to blockage in the blood supply develop this kind of necrosis.
  • Liquifactive – As the name suggests they are like a liquid because these sorts of death are caused by enzymes that lyse solid into a liquid. EG- abscess, pancreatitis.
  • Caseous necrosis – these are like cheese. This is literally formed by combining Coagulative and Liquifactive necrosis. These occur in Microbacterium Tuberculosis and fungal infection.
  • Gangrene – these normally occur in the lower limbs. This sort of death looks like a corpse. Initially, it is dry but if there’s an infection it can also become wet.
  • Fat necrosis – This is exactly what it’s called. The death of fat tissue especially of female breasts. Usually hit by some hard balls during sports or through other trauma. There may be a presence of a hard painful mass in the breast.

Now let’s talk about the scary apoptosis, deemed suicide or programmed cell death. That’s right but it is done to get rid of bad cells and also to fulfill some physiological needs of the body. The most prominent example of apoptosis are the gaps between your fingers, these were created by apoptosis of cells in the place where there is a gap now. Without apoptosis, we wouldn’t get the shape of our body and hence no ED Sherren song. Cells recognize damaged DNA that could cause cancer and kill themselves instead of harming us. The cells in the uterus shredded every month to keep females fertile. All is all apoptosis is a good thing, sometimes destruction is needed to protect us.

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