Necrosis vs. Apoptosis

Difference Between Necrosis and Apoptosis

Necrosis and apoptosis sound unfamiliar but it is not your mistake. These are words of medical terminology which implicate the death of cell and are often used by the doctors. Before moving ahead, we must know a little about the death of a cell. It may seem strange, but the death of cells is a natural phenomenon and in fact necessary for the human beings to develop and grow. There are billions of cells in our bodies like the cells of the cerebrum, the cells of liver, the cells of bone, the cells of blood and the cells of skin and so on. Apoptosis is a phenomenon of natural death of cells. It is a Greek word which means to fail of. This type of death, which is considered natural, maintains normal functioning of the body and guarantees that our bodies are not attacked by the foreign invaders as microbes and viruses. Some people prefer calling apoptosis as a suicide of cells.

There is another known process as necrosis, which is opposite of apoptosis and it would be appropriate to call it the murder of cells rather than suicide by cells. Here, there is an external reason for infection which is followed by the death of cells. The infection or health problems make the membrane of cell burst and the DNA of the cell splits and spreads to other healthy cells which die in process.

If everything keeps happening in the way it must happen and apoptosis keeps on occurring naturally then everything in body remains in perfect order. However, if some cells disobey and refuse to follow the death sentence and to refuse to die, they cause cancerous growths, illness, and other viral infections. On the other hand, if the rate of apoptosis is too much high and cells die before completing their life, it also causes a lot of problems. It happens in case of diseases such as AIDS, liver infection, Alzheimer’s disease and heart attacks.

The study of death of cell by apoptosis and necrosis is a field where the scientists learn a lot about the behavior of cell and the process of their death which allows the scientists to find treatments and remedies for a lot of diseases. In a normal adult about 50 – 70 billion cells die daily because of apoptosis and it is a regular process in a healthy body. If we consider the mass of cells which die in a year, then it would be almost equal to the weight of an individual. You can be surprised, but even you are reading this article, millions of cells in your own body are dying and destructing themselves continuously but you will not realize it.

 

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