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Unformatted text preview: medicine. Programmed Cell Death
Programmed cell death is carefully regulated so that the fate of individual
cells meets the needs of the organism as a whole. In adults, programmed
cell death is responsible for balancing cell proliferation and maintaining
constant cell numbers in tissues undergoing cell turnover. For example,
about 5 × 1011 blood cells are eliminated daily in humans by programmed
cell death, balancing their continual production in the bone marrow. In
addition, programmed cell death provides a defense mechanism by which
damaged and potentially dangerous cells can be eliminated for the good
of the organism as a whole. Virus-infected cells frequently undergo proThis material cannot be copied, reproduced, manufactured, or disseminated in any
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© 2009 Sinauer Associates, Inc. UNCORRECTED PAGE PROOFS
2 CHAPTER 17 grammed cell death, thereby preventing the production of new virus particles and limiting spread of the virus through the host...
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