The war on disease: Revisiting old haunts

Despite medical science’s unbroken stream of discoveries, a number of high profile diseases still fox researchers. Today, scientists seek fresh clues along well-trodden paths.

The cell: both tiny and vast.

As scientists delve deeper into the mechanisms that lie beneath difficult-to-treat conditions such as diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease, they pick away at the edges of science, reaching for loose threads and poking their fingers into dimly lit nooks.

But because answers from fresh angles are not always forthcoming, it is well worth doubling back every once in a while, opening old doors and revisiting familiar faces.

Recently, for instance, a new organ was “discovered” hiding in plain sight. The interstitium — a system of fluid-filled bags — is now considered one of the body’s largest organs.

Previously, the interstitium was thought to be fairly inconsequential; little more than anatomical glue paper supporting proper organs doing proper work. But when cutting edge imaging techniques zeroed in, its size and importance became clear.

Now, scientists are asking what it can teach us about edema, fibrosis, and cancer’s troublesome ability to spread.

In research, everyone knows that no stone should be left unturned. The interstitium, however, reminds us that they should be turned multiple times and at regular intervals.

In this article, we cover some familiar aspects of cellular biology that are being revisited and providing unfamiliar ways to understand disease.


Spread the love

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.