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Pigs may help scientists to understand cystic fibrosis better

Pigs may help scientists to understand cystic fibrosis better
21st September 2010

US researchers have discovered a potential method of exploring and fighting cystic fibrosis (CF) in humans.

Scientists from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have developed a new model using pigs that closely mimics the problems experienced by humans with the condition.

Lead researcher Kevin Foskett explained: "The pig is an excellent model for studies of human lung function and a valuable tool for elucidating pathology of lung disease in CF.

"This crosstalk between the signalling pathways that activate the two different chloride ion channels now gives us a completely new therapeutic strategy to think about."

Meanwhile, recent research by scientists at the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences indicates that vitamin D could be used to prevent an allergic reaction to mould by cystic fibrosis patients in care homes.

The findings, which are published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, underlined the importance of the finding, with mould potentially life threatening to some patients with cystic fibrosis.

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