Simulating the smell of death

Cells sometimes intentionally kill themselves off even if they are not diseased are harmed. This often occurs during normal development (like the forming of fingers in embryos from an initially fin-like appendage). When cells die in this way, bits of them circulate and tell the immune system that their death has been an intentional and somewhat peaceful affair. This is staggeringly different from when cells die during infection. Under those circumstances, their dead fragments usually trigger a powerful immune response that creates intense inflammation. While initially useful, inflammation impairs healing if it lasts for too long. This has led to a lot of research into how inflammation can be better controlled with drugs. Now a team is revealing that they have found a way to do this by releasing compounds into the body that look an awful lot like the fragments of cells that intentionally killed themselves in a peaceful manner.  You can read more in The Economist article that I wrote on this here.