DR GOPAL MURTI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR GOPAL MURTI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Cell death. Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of human white blood cells (leucocytes, blue), showing one cell (upper centre) undergoing apoptosis. Apoptosis is the process of genetically programmed cell death. The apoptotic white blood cell has shrunk and its cytoplasm has developed blebs (grape-like clusters). These cell fragments are then digested by phagocytic cells. Self-destruction is a normal part of a cell's life. Mutations that prevent apoptosis can lead to the uncontrolled proliferation that causes cancer.
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