Posted in remodeling

Scientists track down a protein that may add to lung damage in asthma and related diseases

A step toward helping patients breathe deeply
A protein called TL1A drives fibrosis in several mouse models, making it harder for lungs and airways to function normally. Credit: La Jolla Institute for Immunology

Your lungs and airways need to be stretchy, sort of like balloons. Take a big breath, and they’ll open right up.

Damaged lungs can’t open properly. Patients with asthma, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and systemic sclerosis suffer from fibrosis and tissue remodeling, where a build-up of tissue and immune cells, and proteins that form a glue-like substance, keep the airways from expanding. As fibrosis gets worse, taking a breath feels like blowing up a balloon filled with concrete.

In a new study, researchers at La Jolla Institute for Immunology (LJI) report that a protein called TL1A drives fibrosis in several mouse models, triggering tissue remodeling, and making it harder for lungs and airways to function normally.

“Our new study suggests that TL1A and its receptor

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Posted in improvements

Scientists explore the potential for further improvements to tropical cyclone track forecasts

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IMAGE: Fengyun Satellite image of Typhoon Mysak which plowed into the Korean Peninsula in early September.
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Credit: National Satellite Meteorological Center of China Meteorological Administration

A recent study suggested that we have probably approached the limit of predictability for tropical cyclone (TC) track prediction. If that’s true, there’s little we can do to improve TC forecasts as an incorrect position affects the utility of all other guidance, including wind, precipitation, and storm surge guidance. This would be bad news for disaster prevention and mitigation.

“The reason some scientists ask whether the limit of predictability is near or has already been reached is that there’s a diminishing trend in the reduction of positional error in National Hurricane Center (NHC) tropical cyclone forecasts. From this, there seems to be little room for improvement,” explained Dr. Feifan Zhou, a scientist with the Institute of Atmospheric Physics at the Chinese Academy of

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