Cell death is a process that can either be regulatory or as a result of an external stress on a system of the body. There are three types of cell death: necrosis, apoptosis, and autophagy. Necrosis occurs when the cells are affected by external factors, which can include infections, heat, toxic chemicals, alcohol, and dehydration. These factors will either physically destroy the cells or deprive them of the materials that are necessary for survival. Apoptosis is a form of programmed cell death, which can be either a developmental process or a response from the human immune system. During apoptosis, the cell undergoes changes including chromosomal condensation, nuclear and chromosomal DNA fragmentation, and blebbing. Autophagy is the degradation of organelles inside the cell by lysosomal machinery, and can help with regulating cellular energy levels. A cell can be considered "dead" when the plasma membrane has denigrated, it has been fragmented into apoptotic bodies, or it has been completely engulfed by another cell.
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