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Cell death is a genetically regulated process occurring commonly in nature. For decades cell death was considered to be typical only for multicellular organisms and, consequently, relatively young in evolutionary terms. However, genetically regulated cell death has recently been documented in many unicellular organisms, both eukaryotic and prokaryotic. These data suggest that cell death might be an old process accompanying life since its beginning. In this paper, examples of cell death processes in different organisms are compared. On that basis an overview of hypotheses on origin and evolution of cell death is presented. Possible ways for the emergence of different cell death mechanisms are also discussed.
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The Editorial Board
Andrzej Łukaszyk - przewodniczący, Zofia Bielańska-Osuchowska, Szczepan Biliński, Mieczysław Chorąży, Aleksander Koj, Włodzimierz Korochoda, Leszek Kuźnicki, Aleksandra Stojałowska, Lech Wojtczak

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