Life and death in your cells
Find out more about the "living containers" inside us.
Cells have lifespans, too
Some skin cells live only eight hours, while undamaged nerve and muscle cells can last your whole lifetime. Cells in the lining of intestines divide throughout life, but kidney and lung cells stop dividing when your body is fully grown.
200 million a minute
Every minute, more than 200 hundred million cells are created to replace old, dying cells. And except for red blood cells, every cell in your body contains a complete set of your DNA.
Do cells get dehydrated?
As you age, your cells will be replaced by cells containing less water, which affects how you look. A newborn infant is about 80 percent water, but the body mass of a wrinkled, older person is only about 50 percent water.
Why do cells destroy themselves?
Cells are also programmed to destroy themselves in case of infection or mutation. The same process also helps shape embryos in the womb; tissue cells on the hands and feet are programmed to destroy themselves so that fingers and toes can separate. This process is called apoptosis, an ancient Greek word meaning "falling off", as in the way leaves fall off trees.
Next: Progeria: aging too fast
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