Gene At Root Of Urban Air Pollution's Lung Effects

Duke University Medical Center pulmonologists have linked a gene to the lung irritation commonly suffered following chronic exposure to ozone, a major component of urban air pollution. Should the new finding in mice be corroborated in human studies, drugs that block the function of the gene might serve as useful treatments for patients with asthma, the researchers said. The new study adds to earlier work highlighting the importance of genetic factors in determining the lung's response to environmental toxins by pinpointing a key player in the process, said Duke pulmonologist John Hollingsworth II, M.D., lead author of the study.

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