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Using sophisticated screening across animal species, researchers at Yale have created a cellular blueprint of the human lung that will make it easier to understand the design principles behind lung function and disease—and to bioengineer new lungs.
The research, published Dec. 4 in Science Advances, represents a collaboration between two Yale labs—that of Naftali Kaminski, M.D., chief of pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine at Yale School of Medicine, and Laura Niklason, M.D., Ph.D., the Nicholas Greene Professor of anesthesiology and biomedical engineering and an expert in stimulating growth of new lung tissue from the body's own cells for use in transplants.
Data - Technology - View - Millions - Cells
In analyzing data obtained through single-cell technology, which offers an ultrahigh-resolution view of up to millions of individual cells at once, the researchers found key cell interactions that were conserved across four species—mouse, rat, pig, and human. Specifically, they revealed several universal cell communication networks driving functions such as cell regulation, disease monitoring, and cell signaling, providing new insights into the mechanisms behind lung development and disease.
"We can take an entire organ, or tissue, and measure all the cell types from a single snapshot," said Micha Sam Brickman Raredon, the M.D./Ph.D. candidate in Niklason's lab who is the study's lead author.
Years - Resolution - Cells - Kaminski - Boehringer-Ingelheim
Five years ago, "we didn't have the resolution to look at individual cells and how they behave," said Kaminski, the Boehringer-Ingelheim Professor of Internal Medicine and professor of pharmacology. "It's like we have moved the resolution on cell analysis from looking at the night sky with the naked eye, to a child's telescope, to an observatory and, now, the Hubble telescope."
There are 40 different cell types in the lung, Kaminski explained, and hundreds of thousands of cells altogether, each containing tens of thousands of genes. Since...
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