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How Do Hungry Cells Start Eating Themselves?

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Science  25 Nov 2011:
Vol. 334, Issue 6059, pp. 1049-1050
DOI: 10.1126/science.334.6059.1049

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When a cell runs out of raw materials, it sprouts an internal membrane that encapsulates some of its contents and breaks them down for reuse. The process is called autophagy: literally, "self-eating." Cell biologists have long wondered where this membrane comes from. Now, they might be close to an answer.

This article is part of the Mysteries in the Cell collection.