The lungs serve the primary function of air-blood gas exchange in all mammals and in terrestrial vertebrates. Efficient gas exchange requires a large surface area that provides intimate contact between the atmosphere and the circulatory system. To achieve this, the lung contains a branched conducting system (the bronchial tree) and specialized air-blood gas exchange units (the alveoli). The conducting system brings air from the external environment to the alveoli and functions to protect the lung from debris that could obstruct airways, from entry of pathogens, and from excessive loss of fluids. The distal lung enables efficient exchange of gas between the alveoli and the conducting system and between the alveoli and the circulatory system. In this article, we highlight developmental and physiological mechanisms that specify, pattern, and regulate morphogenesis of this complex and essential organ. Recent advances have begun to define molecular mechanisms that control many of the important processes required for lung organogenesis; however, many questions remain. A deeper understanding of these molecular mechanisms will aid in the diagnosis and treatment of congenital lung disease and in the development of strategies to enhance the reparative response of the lung to injury and eventually permit regeneration of functional lung tissue.
We investigated the role of cholinergic neurotransmission in olfactory fear learning. Mice receiving pairings of odor and foot shock displayed fear to the trained odor the following day. Pretraining injections of the nicotinic antagonist mecamylamine had no effect on subsequent freezing, w ... more
In Aplysia, repeated trials of aversive stimuli produce long-term sensitization (LTS) of defensive reflexes and suppression of feeding. Whereas the cellular underpinnings of LTS have been characterized, the mechanisms of feeding suppression remained unknown. Here, we report that LTS traini ... more
The anaphase promoting complex/cyclosome (APC/C) is an E3 ligase regulated by Cdh1. Beyond its role in controlling cell cycle progression, APC/C–Cdh1 has been detected in neurons and plays a role in long-lasting synaptic plasticity and long-term memory. Herein, we further examined the role ... more
The human mouth is home to a teeming community of microbes, yet still relatively little is known about what determines the specific types of microorganisms that live there. Is it your genes that decide who lives in the microbial village, or is it your environment? In a study published in ... more
Your genes determine much about you, but environment can have a strong influence on your genes even before birth, with consequences that can last a lifetime. In a study published in Genome Research, researchers have for the first time shown that the environment experienced in the womb defi ... more
The human gut is home to a teeming ecosystem of microbes that is intimately involved in both human health and disease. But while the gut microbiota is interacting with our body, they are also under constant attack from viruses. In a study published in Genome Research, researchers have ana ... more