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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Stem cells may lead to new wisdom about lung disease

New evidence that scientists are working overtime to find better treatment for lung disorders comes from a recent study that concludes scientists have found a stem cell "that plays a part in the repair mechanisms in the large airways of the lungs," Daily News and Analysis reports.

Mucus glands are important because they produce mucus that traps particles and brings them to the oral cavity to be swallowed.  This is one of our bodies natural defense mechanisms to keep our lungs sterile and free of infection.

Diseases like COPD, Asthma and cystic fibrosis often result in increased mucus production that further complicates their breathing.  In the case of COPD and cystic fibrosis, this increased mucus can become trapped in the lungs and increase the risk for lung infections like pneumonia.

So far most of the studies have been completed on lab animals, so it's not yet sure how this will translate to humans. 

And while it's not likely this will lead to any new treatments or a cure for any lung diseases in the near future, it does provide scientists with an opportunity to further study mucus glands and the "mechanisms" for diseases of the upper airway.

Just another post to show there is hope for the future for all those folks suffering with lung illness.

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