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NEWS:

Traffic-Related Air Pollution Linked To DNA Damage In Children

Children and teens exposed to high levels of traffic-related air pollution have evidence of a specific type of DNA damage called telomere shortening, reports a study in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Young people with asthma also have evidence of telomere shortening, according to the preliminary research by John R. Balmes, MD, of University of California, Berkeley, and colleagues. They write, "Our results suggest that telomere length may have potential for use as a biomarker of DNA damage due to environmental exposures and/or chronic inflammation."

The study included 14 children and adolescents living in Fresno, Calif.—the second-most polluted city in the United States. The researchers assessed the relationship between polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), a "ubiquitous" air pollutant caused by motor vehicle exhaust; and shortening of telomeres, a type of DN

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Queen’s University Belfast Co-Lead One Of World’s Biggest Trials In Respiratory Health

A new technology – ‘dialysis for the lungs’ – which could save thousands of lives in Intensive Care Units is being taken forward by researchers at Queen’s University Belfast in one of the biggest clinical trials in the world in the area of respiratory failure.

Queen’s researchers and Belfast Health and Social Care Trust are co-leading the landmark trial involving 1,120 critically ill patients in 40 different hospital sites across the UK over the next four years.

Recruited patients will test the effectiveness of a new procedure designed to alleviate the pressure put on the lungs by mechanical ventilation – or ‘ventilators’. Researchers believe the new procedure – which removes carbon dioxide from the blood in a process similar to kidney dialysis – can significantly improve survival rates in people suffering respiratory failure but only a full trial will provide evidence.

Respiratory fa

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Heart Attack Risk Increases 17-Fold Following Respiratory Infections

The risk of having a heart attack is 17 times higher in the seven days following a respiratory infection, University of Sydney research has found.

Published in Internal Medicine Journal, this is the first study to report an association between respiratory infections such as pneumonia, influenza and bronchitis and increased risk of heart attack in patients confirmed by coronary angiography (a special X-Ray to detect heart artery blockages).

"Our findings confirm what has been suggested in prior studies that a respiratory infection can act as a trigger for a heart attack," said senior author Professor Geoffrey Tofler, cardiologist from University of Sydney, Royal North Shore Hospital and Heart Research Australia.

"The data showed that the increased risk of a heart attack isn't necessarily just at the beginning of respiratory symptoms, it peaks in the first 7 days and gradually reduces b

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New Lung “Organoids” In A Dish Mimic Features Of Full-Size Lung

New lung “organoids”—tiny 3-D structures that mimic features of a full-sized lung—have been created from human pluripotent stem cells by researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC). The team used the organoids to generate models of human lung diseases in a lab dish, which could be used to advance our understanding of a variety of respiratory diseases.

A paper detailing the discovery was published in the online issue of Nature Cell Biology. Organoids are 3-D structures containing multiple cell types that look and function like a full-sized organ. By reproducing an organ in a dish, researchers hope to develop better models of human diseases, and find new ways of testing drugs and regenerating damaged tissue.

“Researchers have taken up the challenge of creating organoids to help us understand and treat a variety of diseases,” said Hans-Willem Snoeck, PhD, professor of medicin

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