Study reveals what triggers lung damage during COVID-19

Researchers found that a specific subtype of macrophages that originated from blood monocytes plays a key role in the hyper-inflammatory response in SARS-CoV-2 infected lungs, by performing single-cell RNA sequencing of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid cells. This study provides new insights for understanding dynamic changes in immune responses to COVID-19. Source

Researchers identify approach for potential nontypeable haemophilus influenzae vaccine

Scientists have identified two proteins that could be used for a potential vaccine against nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi). Working in a mouse model, the investigators found that administering two bacterial adhesive proteins that play a key role in helping the bacteria to latch on to respiratory cells and initiate respiratory tract infection stimulated protective immunity against diverse NTHi strains, highlighting the vaccine potential. Source

A blood test for your body clock? It’s on the horizon

Sleep researchers have found it’s possible to determine the timing of a person’s internal biological clock via a single blood draw. Ultimately, the findings could lead to a simple blood test for assessing circadian rhythm and personalized recommendations for when people should eat, sleep, exercise and take medications. Source

‘Springing forward’ affects early birds less than night owls

Every spring, the Daylight Saving Time shift robs people of an hour of sleep – and a new study shows that DNA plays a role in how much the time change affects individuals. People whose genetic profile makes them more likely to be ‘early birds’ can adjust to the time change in a few days. But those who tend to be ‘night owls’ could take more than a week to get back on track. Source

High respiratory efforts in COVID-19 patients could result in self-inflicted lung injury, study shows

Some COVID-19 patients who experience acute respiratory failure respond by significantly increasing their respiratory effort — breathing faster and more deeply. There is concern among some doctors that this level of respiratory effort can lead to further damage to these patients’ lungs. Working with intensive care clinicians, engineering researchers have used computational modeling to provide new evidence that high respiratory efforts in COVID-19 patients can produce pressures and strains inside the lung that can result in injury. Source

Firefighters found to have persistent lung damage from Fort McMurray wildfire

Firefighters at the center of the battle against the massive Fort McMurray, Alberta wildfire in 2016 have persistent lung damage, according to new findings by a occupational health research team. The firefighters had more than double the risk of developing asthma compared with the general population. They also exhibited a number of changes in lung function tests supportive of an effect on the lungs, including greater lung hyperreactivity and increased thickening of the bronchial wall. Source