Apoptosis is based on a Greek word which means “falling off”. It is also referred to as programmed cell death as the cells are duty-bound to commit suicide. This essential process follows a predictable routine: proteins break down cellular components, the cells shrink, and distress signals prompt macrophages to clean them up. Apoptosis is necessary for development; for instance, it is responsible for removing the web-like connections between the fingers and toes during the prenatal stage.

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