Scientists Have Discovered A Secret Function Of The Lung
There are a lot of things scientists still don’t have the answers for. For example we still aren’t quite sure how many organs are in the human body or what all their functions are. However this January researchers announced a new discovery in mice that may also be true for humans.
Here Are The Details:
Researchers from the University Of California, San Francisco (UCSF) found that the lungs in mice have a hidden feature- they can help make blood.
Their findings show that their lungs produce over half of the platelets (the component that binds blood together to stop one from bleeding out when they are wounded).
Researchers also identified a cache of stem cells “the type that can differentiate into almost any cell type with the right biological programming – that can transform themselves into blood cells.”
Before this discovery it was believed that bone marrow was the primary source for such stem cells. What this suggests is that if our bone marrow is damaged and unable to keep up with its regular blood cell manufacture, our lungs can step in and make up for it.
These findings have yet to be proven true for human lungs but because mice are so similar there is a good chance the human lungs also have this hidden feature.
“This finding definitely suggests a more sophisticated view of the lungs – that they’re not just for respiration but also a key partner in formation of crucial aspects of the blood,” senior author Mark Looney, a professor of medicine at UCSF
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