Two distinct types of COVID-19-associated acute respiratory distress syndrome identified

Identifying subsets of patients with different biochemical characteristics can help clinical researchers develop more effective therapies for treating ARDS associated with COVID-19 infections. Results of a new study suggest that disruption of the normal regulation of blood vessels and circulation could be a key feature of critical illness, severe symptoms, and death related to COVID-19 infections. Source

Lung cancer resistance: the key is glucose

Lung tumors are home to immune cells that affect their growth and resistance to treatment. Looking at neutrophils, scientists led by EPFL have discovered that the key might lie in the cells’ ability to metabolize glucose, opening an entirely new target for improving radiotherapy. Source

Combination therapy may provide significant protection against lethal influenza

A significant proportion of hospitalized patients with influenza develop complications of acute respiratory distress syndrome. Investigators have found that treatment with an immune receptor blocker in combination with an antiviral agent markedly improves survival of mice infected with lethal influenza and reduces lung pathology in swine-influenza-infected piglets. Their research also provides insights into the optimal timing of treatment to prevent acute lung injury. Source

A modified protein appears to trigger lung fibrosis after environmental exposure

Research shows how cadmium and carbon black can trigger lung macrophages to produce a modified protein, citrullinated vimentin, which leads to lung fibrosis. Researchers also describe mechanistic steps in lung macrophages and lung fibroblasts that leads to the lung scarring. One enzyme involved in these steps, PAD2, may be a promising target to attenuate cadmium/carbon black-induced fibrosis. The study also reports a potential mouse disease model for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Source

New bioink brings 3D-printing of human organs closer to reality

Researchers have designed a new bioink which allows small human-sized airways to be 3D-bioprinted with the help of patient cells for the first time. The 3D-printed constructs are biocompatible and support new blood vessel growth into the transplanted material. This is an important first step towards 3D-printing organs. Source