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Science 299 (5613): 1677-1679

Copyright © 2003 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

A Matter of Life or Death

Rama Ranganathan

Death of retinal photoreceptor cells underlies many blinding diseases, such as retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration. In a Perspective, Ranganathan explores new work that starts to unravel the relation between visual signaling pathways and the processes of apoptosis and necrosis. An intriguing new finding is that accumulation of the sphingolipid ceramide stimulates both necrosis and apoptosis of photoreceptor cells in the fly (Acharya et al.)

The author is at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Pharmacology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX 75390, USA. E-mail: rama{at}

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