Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Month Highlights Realities of Rare Disease

September’s Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Month shares crucial realities and insights about the rare disease, its symptoms and helpful resources provided by the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation to educate the public about this devastating disease which impacts over 200,000 Americans.

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Severely Damaged Human Lungs Can Now Be Successfully Recovered

A multidisciplinary team from Columbia Engineering and Vanderbilt University has now demonstrated that severely injured donor lungs that have been declined for transplant can be recovered outside the body by a system that uses cross-circulation of whole blood between the donor lung and an animal host. For the first time, a severely injured human lung that failed to recover using the standard clinical EVLP was successfully recovered during 24 hours on the team’s cross-circulation platform.

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Ribs evolved for movement first, then co-opted for breathing

A major transformation in vertebrate evolution took place when breathing shifted from being driven by head and throat muscles—like in fish and frogs—to the torso—like in reptiles and mammals. But what caused the shift? A new study posits that the intermediate step was locomotion—the mechanics follow the same pattern as inhalation and exhalation.

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ATS Publishes New Guidance on COVID-19 Management

An American Thoracic Society-led international task force has released a guidance document to help clinicians manage COVID-19 patients in the face of a worldwide pandemic and minimal empirical evidence to guide treatment. The new guidance – “COVID-19: Interim Guidance on Management Pending Empirical Evidence”– is published as an open access document on the American Thoracic Society’s website.

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Following the lizard lung labyrinth

Mammals inhale oxygen-rich air and they exhale depleted air, exhibiting a so-called tidal flow pattern. In contrast, bird breath travels through part of the respiratory system, but in a one-way loop throughout most of the lung. Biologists have discovered that Savannah monitor lizards have lung structures that are hybrid system of bird and mammal lungs.

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