Dining In

How the right amount of cellular self-cannibalism can keep you healthy

By Tina Hesman Saey, 10:07 AM March 10, 2011

There’s a little Hannibal Lecter in all of us.

But while the famous cannibal dined on chunks of his enemies and friends, most people stick to gnawing on themselves at a microscopic level. In fact, the cells of organisms from yeast to humans regularly engage in self-cannibalism. Cells chew on bits of their cytoplasm — the jellylike substance that fills their bellies — and dine on their own internal organs, although usually without the fava beans and Chianti.

It may sound macabre, but gorg...

Source URL: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/dining