How do cells die?
A cell can die in many ways - through infection, poisoning, overheating or lack of oxygen. An uncontrolled death is messy: the cell swells up, and its contents leak away. This may damage surrounding cells. But there is another, tidier way to go - programmed self-destruction, or apoptosis. It seems that cells often choose to kill themselves. We now know that controlled cell death is crucial for normal human development and good health throughout life.