Abnormal airway branching in the lung increases risk for COPD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a chronic lung disease that results in damage to the airways (Bronchitis) and destruction of the small air sacs, called alveoli (Emphysema). Traditionally considered a smoker’s disease, COPD can also appear in people exposed to indoor air pollution (wood burning stoves) and air pollution. Not everyone who smokes will…

Using mice to understand the genetics behind autism

Numerous studies have tried to understand the genetic component of autism in an effort to understand the origins of the disorder. A few key genes have come up as important including a gene known as CHD8 or Chromodomain-helicase-DNA-binding protein 8. This gene has been shown to be mutated in some individuals with autism and be…

Exposure to urban air pollution weakens kid’s lungs

Your lungs continue to develop well after you are born usually until the age of 3 but maybe even into your late teens. This means that any exposure to harmful compounds (cigarette smoke, pollution, toxic fumes) could likely have profound impacts on the way your lungs grow. Alterations in the way your lungs grow could…