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Imagine that! A whole new family of helpful proteins discovered in the lung


Randomly evolved, after billions of flops:

“In this new study, we have identified a new family of proteins in blood vessels in the lung called T2R, or bitter taste receptors. These are the same proteins found in the tongue which sense any bitter substances and tell us that they taste unpleasant. In blood vessels in the lung, we show that these bitter taste receptors are able to regulate how our blood vessels function when stressed.

“Most intriguingly, when we stimulate these proteins, we have found that they offer protection against fluid leak. These findings indicate that this new family of proteins in blood vessels could offer a new avenue of drugs to reduce fluid leak into the lung, and therefore help to treat patients with respiratory distress.”

Anglia Ruskin University, “Discovery could pave way for new lung treatment” at ScienceDaily (March 23, 2022)

The paper is open access.

You may also wish to read: We have a backup sense of smell to protect the lungs “Our noses have specialized cells that give us a sense of the vapors around us by detecting the presence of chemicals and sending signals to the brain. New research is now explaining how our lungs also have such chemosensors. These sensors send signals not to the brain but to the nearby tissues causing a fast response… ”

The role of bitter taste sensors is especially interesting. On the tongue, bitter is meant to detect alkaline poisons and trigger a gag. In the lung the 'anti-leak' function may be meant to protect the lungs from the same poisons when accidentally inhaled. This article is viewing the stop-leak from the other side of the membrane. polistra
What??? You mean these aren't randomly-evolved "junk" proteins? LOL -Q Querius

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