Programmed cell death or apoptosis occurs in many tissues during normal development and in the normal homeostasis of adult tissues. Apoptosis also plays a significant role in abnormal development and disease. Increased interest in apoptosis and cell death in general has resulted in the development of new techniques and the revival of old ones. Each assay has its advantages and disadvantages that can render it appropriate and useful for one application, but inappropriate or difficult to use in another. Understanding the strengths and limitations of the assays would allow investigators to select the best methods for their needs.
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