cell death

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Non-accidental death seems to occur either when cells have completed a fixed number of division cycles (~60; the Hayflick limit) or at some earlier (programmed) stage, as occurs in limb development to separate the digits. It is still unclear whether death at this limit is a consequence of accumulated errors or a result of telomere shortening or some other ‘timing’ programme. Transformed cells appear to have escaped the Hayflick limit and can divide indefinitely. See apoptosis.

Subjects: Medicine and Health.

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