Although cells can die as a result of unpredictable

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Unformatted text preview: th. Although cells can die as a result of unpredictable traumatic events, such as exposure to toxic chemicals, most cell deaths in multicellular organisms occur by a normal physiological process of programmed cell death, which plays a key role both in embryonic development and in adult tissues. In adult organisms, cell death must be balanced by cell renewal, and most tissues contain stem cells that are able to replace cells that have been lost. Abnormalities of cell death are associated with a wide variety of illnesses, including cancer, autoimmune disease, and neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. Conversely, the ability of stem cells to proliferate and differentiate into a wide variety of cell types has generated enormous interest in the possible use of these cells, particularly embryonic stem cells, to replace damaged tissues. The mechanisms and regulation of cell death and cell renewal have therefore become areas of research at the forefront of biology and...
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This note was uploaded on 08/25/2009 for the course BIO 315 taught by Professor Steiner during the Spring '08 term at Kentucky.

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