Apoptosis vs. Necrosis

Apoptosis vs. Necrosis

Living things are composed of living cells, which can die. Apoptosis and necrosis are both forms of this cell death.

Apoptosis is the 'programmed' death of a cell that occurs from within. The word is formed from the Greek prefix "apo-," meaning away from and the suffix "-ptosis," which means falling. Cells that die as a result of apoptosis are cleared away by white blood cells and do not harm the organism.

Necrosis is the death of a cell as a result of outside trauma or influence. The word is formed from the Greek prefix "necro-," meaning death and the suffix "-osis," which means condition. Necrosis is harmful to organisms, but does not necessarily result in death.

The death of individual cells is a natural and necessary process in living organisms. Apoptosis is a healthy way to eliminate old, unnecessary, or unhealthy cells. However, it can become problematic if it begins affecting healthy cells. Necrosis, on the other hand, is an irreversible destruction of a cell which can lead to gangrene.

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