New part of the body found hiding in the lungs

Researchers have discovered a new never-before-seen cell in the human lungs, which plays a vital role in the functioning of the respiratory system. (Image credit: Shutterstock)

(opens in new tab)

Scientists have discovered a brand-new type of cell hiding inside the delicate, branching passageways of human lungs. The newfound cells play a vital role in keeping the respiratory system functioning properly and could even inspire new treatments to reverse the effects of certain smoking-related diseases, according to a new study.

The cells, known as respiratory airway secretory (RAS) cells, are found in tiny, branching passages known as bronchioles, which are tipped with alveoli, the teensy air sacs that exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide with the bloodstream. The new RAS cells are similar to stem cells — “blank canvas” cells that can differentiate into any other type of cell in the body — and are capable of repairing damaged alveoli cells and transforming into new ones.

Leave a Comment