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Curr Top Dev Biol. 2005;65:1-45.

Tales of cannibalism, suicide, and murder: Programmed cell death in C. elegans.

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Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York 11743, USA.


"Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome," said Isaac Asimov. Indeed, much scientific work over the last hundred years centered around attempts either to stave off or to induce the onset of death, at both the organismal and the cellular levels. In this quest, the nematode C. elegans has proven an invaluable tool, first, in the articulation of the genetic pathway by which programmed cell death proceeds, and also as a continuing source of inspiration. It is our purpose in this Chapter to familiarize the reader with the topic of programmed cell death in C. elegans and its relevance to current research in the fields of apoptosis and cell corpse clearance.

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