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date: 23 September 2021

apoptosis n. 

Source:
Concise Medical Dictionary
Author(s):
Jonathan LawJonathan Law, Elizabeth MartinElizabeth Martin

programmed cell death, which results in the ordered removal of cells and occurs naturally as part of the normal development, maintenance, and renewal of cells, tissues, and organs. During embryonic development, for example, the fingers are ‘sculpted’ from the embryonic spade-like hand by apoptosis of the cells between them. Defects in apoptosis, for example if it is absent or blocked, have been implicated in the uncontrolled division of malignant cells that occurs in cancer. Abnormal apoptosis, due to failure of the mechanisms that control it, may be a causative factor in autoimmune disease.... ...

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