Every day, billions of cells die in your body as part of a tightly orchestrated process known as apoptosis, or programmed cell death. The biomedical animation “What is apoptosis?” is intended for use within Dr Richard Oparka’s first-year pathology module at the University of Dundee School of Medicine. It communicates to students a concise, introductory overview of the processes behind apoptosis and their potential medical implications. Although the death of old, diseased or superfluous cells keeps us alive and functioning by allowing new cells to replace them, abnormalities of too much or too little apoptosis are also involved in numerous pathologies such as cancer as well as autoimmune and neurodegenerative diseases. Today, apoptosis and the complex pathways that control it are the subjects of an expanding field of research, as the role of apoptotic disorders in disease is increasingly recognized. It is therefore useful for future doctors to gain a general understanding of the subject early in their training. Studies suggest that animation can be a highly effective medium for teaching cell and molecular biology to beginners in a palatable and engaging way, thus lessening the strain on medical students’ already heavily taxed time and attention.
Still from the animation "What is Apoptosis?"