Courtesy of Bingren Hu, Queen's Medical Center, Hawaii. Provided by Cell Signaling Technology

Confocal micrograph of double immunostaining for cleaved caspase-3 (green) and propidium iodide (red) in newborn rat brain tissue. This section shows control and transient cerebral ischemia.

Editor's Note: This is the second article in our two-part series on cell death. The first part: J. Cortese, "Death watch I: Cytotoxicity detection," The Scientist, 15[5]:26, March 5, 2001.
Cells die. This basic, two-word statement is fraught with unanswered questions that are loaded with complexity: What events and signals trigger cell death? What is the mechanism by which cell death occurs? How is death regulated, and why does that regulation sometimes go haywire? These are important questions, and thousands of researchers are actively working to tackle them.

Cells can die either through necrosis or apoptosis. Necrosis is unplanned cell death that is usually triggered by toxic...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to digital editions of The Scientist, as well as TS Digest, feature stories, more than 35 years of archives, and much more!
Already a member?