A sigh may do more for your health than provide emotional relief.
Researchers in California claim to have identified the source of the
sigh in the brain, which they say is a life-sustaining reflex for healthy lung
functioning. Humans sigh around 12 times per hour to reinflate the
half-billion or so tiny, balloon-like sacs in the lungs called alveoli,
which are vital in regulating the flow of oxygen and carbon dioxide. A
sigh is mostly an involuntary deep breath, or a regular breath with
another added on top before an exhale.
There are 30 million people with asthma in the US alone and one of the biggest problems they have is not knowing when symptoms might occur or not always knowing what might trigger them. Scientists at Sparo Labs are looking to change that with Wing, a pocket-sized device that plugs into your smartphone and can detect early warning signs for asthma attacks.
September 20, 2015
Our bodies have developed a particularly unforgiving immune response when a threat is posed to our lungs. This is great for warding off infections and illness, though is something of a double-edged sword regarding transplants, with the recipient's body often perceiving the incoming organ as a threat and seeking to destroy it. But a new approach promises to boost the success rate of such procedures, by both repairing unhealthy donor lungs that wouldn't otherwise make the grade and reducing the chances of rejection once it is implanted.
If someone is wheezing, it usually means that they have a respiratory problem. Soon, however, a wheeze-analyzing wearable device may allow doctors to know what sort of respiratory problem a patient has – and how serious it is.
Respiratory diseases such as bronchitis, emphysema and asthma are extremely prevalent, with more than 35 million sufferers in the US alone. Now, a team from the Weizmann Institute of Science has worked to create a new treatment for repairing damaged lung tissue, using the procedure for bone marrow stem cell transplantation as a template.