Take a Deep Breath

Researchers say lungs work much differently than thought

MONDAY, July 15, 2002 (HealthDayNews) -- Breathe in. Breathe out. It all seems so simple, and scientists thought so, too. Until now, that is.

That's because researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health say a new study shows the accepted theory of how the lungs work is full of hot air.

Rather than air flowing in and out in an orderly process, the researchers say air mixes in the lungs in a chaotic fashion.

Akira Tsuda and his team say the discovery has broad implications for researchers who concentrate on diseases that are caused by air-borne particles. Such particles are at the root of bronchitis, asthma and anthrax, among others.

The researchers used lungs taken from rats to study how air flows deep inside the organs.

More information

To learn more about your lungs and how they work, check out the Canadian Lung Association.

SOURCE: Harvard School of Public Health news release, July 15, 2002
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