A most becoming death
Apoptosis or programmed cell death is a fundamental part of nature and essential to life and health. It’s the process that assures our bodies – and those of pretty much every other multi-cellular organism – have just the right number of healthy cells, no more, no less. Not only does it remove damaged or dysfunctional cells, apoptosis also plays a role in human development, helping to mold and shape our organs and digits.
In this complex and lovely image by Thomas Deerinck and Mark Ellisman at the National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research at UC San Diego, a HeLa cell undergoes apoptosis (center) surrounded by healthy neighbors. The different hued fluorescence imaging identifies key elements of the cells: Golgi apparatus in yellow, microtubules in red, cell nuclei in blue. The green is Green Fluorescent Protein.