Lung Growth and War with Iran

Grind for February 5th
“The great artist is a slave to his ideals.”

-Christian Nestell Bovee

Science News

The Headline

Human lungs can repair themselves, but only if you quit smoking

The Grind

According to a study published this month in the journal Nature, human lung cells can effectively repair the damage caused by tobacco smoke if a person stops smoking.

In studying the major airways of former smokers, a team of British researchers was surprised to find that up to 40% of lung cells appeared healthy – even in patients who had smoked 1 pack a day for 40 years.

“We were totally unprepared for the finding,” says Dr. Peter Campbell of the British non-profit Sanger Institute. “There is a population of cells that, kind of, magically replenish the lining of the airways.”

These cells, which seem to “exist in a nuclear bunker” can repair the damage caused by tobacco smoke if an individual stops smoking.

The Details

When inhaled, the chemicals in tobacco smoke cause tiny genetic alterations in lung cells that slowly transform into cancer. You can think of these alterations like “mini time bombs,” says researcher Kate Gowers.

The study, which disproves the long-held belief that damage caused by smoking is permanent, supports claims that quitting cigarettes reduces your risk of lung cancer almost immediately.

“It’s a really motivating idea that people who stop smoking might reap the benefits twice over – by preventing more tobacco-related damage to lung cells, and by giving their lungs the chance to balance out some of the existing damage with healthier cells,” says Dr. Rachel Orritt.

Because the study focused only on major airways, and not alveoli, researchers still need to assess how much of a patient’s lung was actually repaired by the undamaged cells.


The Headline

House lawmakers approve measures aimed to prevent war in Iran

The Grind

House lawmakers last week approved two bills designed to prevent President Trump from taking military action against Iran without congressional approval.

The first measure blocks military funding for use against Iran without Congressional approval and the second repeals the 2002 authorization for use of military force that facilitated the war against Saddam Hussein’s forces in Iraq.

“Saddam Hussein is dead. His government and regime are long gone,” argues Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY). This war authorization has no relevance to present-day Iraq. It should be repealed, not used to launch more military action.”

The Details

The measures are clearly a rebuke of President Trump’s recent military actions in Iraq, including the assassination of Iranian military leader Qassem Soleimani.

Senate lawmakers are not expected to vote on the measures, which Trump would veto if they reached his desk.

“With Votes in the House tomorrow, Democrats want to make it harder for Presidents to defend America, and stand up to, as an example, Iran. Protect our GREAT COUNTRY!” tweeted Trump on Wednesday.

The same day the measures were passed, the Iraqi government confirmed it was ready to resume military cooperation with US forces against ISIS

Did you know… Your body is creating and killing about 2.4 million red blood cells per second.