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Bio 142, February 26, 2013 Kate McKinney Anatomy and Physiology in the News

Medical News Today published an article on February 20, 2013 about how fungi in the lungs might contribute an answer to Asthma treatment. Basically the article summarized the fact that lungs arent just air sacs waiting for oxygen to transport it to the body, but also a home to many different kinds of fungi. The fungus in a healthy human is quite different than that of an asthmatic individual according to resent research; this discovery can be very useful in treatment of asthma. According to the article by Catharine Paddock PhD there are approximately 136 species of fungi in the human lungs. 46 of these were found more commonly in healthy people, and 90 in asthmatics. Treatments of Asthmatics could be based on the colony of fungus in the persons lungs, which can be assessed by a simple saliva or mucus test. I chose this article for personal reasons; because I have severe asthma. Its difficult being chained to an inhaler constantly; unable to do things you want to do. If this new research helps diagnose and treat Asthmatics like me, I would be very happy and thankful! In this article they discuss lung cells, treatment of asthma, fungi present in the lungs, and possible tests to diagnose fungi abnormalities. The subject of this article is important because it can change the life of a person, and allow them to do things they wouldnt otherwise be able to do. Such as run, dance, dirt bike, hike, or even breathe helium! It also shows the ways that medical science is advancing to help treat such a common illness as Asthma. Asthma, by its definition is a chronic disease involving the airways in the lungs. These airways, or bronchial tubes, allow air to come in and out of the lungs. (1) It is a disorder that causes the airways of the lungs to swell and narrow, leading to wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing. (2) There are several different kinds of asthma. Childhood asthma, Asthma is generally characterized by common triggers; such as: exercise induced (EIA), dust, mold, respiratory infections, pollen, smoke, changes in the weather, and pollutants. (3) Sometimes people can have asthma from a very young age, or you can develop it later on in life, like I did. There are several symptoms that characterize asthma. Some of these symptoms are coughing, wheezing, tightness in the chest, tachycardia, difficulty breathing out or in, shortness of breath while talking, bluish hue in nails and/or lips, or

fainting. Each system can be recognized and acted upon depending on its severity. Often administration of Albuterol, or some other bronchodilator is sufficient to ease an attack. There are also daily preventative asthma medications that are available, such as Advair. Asthma can be a life long condition, but it doesnt have to be debilitating. With the proper care, medication, diet, and lifestyle there is a good chance of leadning a normal life, filled with activities that arent too encumbered by asthma.

Sources: 1. http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/asthma.aspx 2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001196/ 3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001197/