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Many molecules can cause inflammation. Pixabay

Human muscle has an innate ability to ward off the damaging effects of chronic inflammation when exercised, a new study suggests. The study, published in the journal Science Advances, indicates that inflammation is not inherently good or bad. When the body is injured, an initial low-level inflammation response clears away debris and helps tissue rebuild.

“Our engineered muscle platform is modular, meaning we can mix and match various types of cells and tissue components if we want to. But in this case, we discovered that the muscle cells were capable of taking anti-inflammatory actions all on their own,” said researcher Nenad Bursac, Professor at Duke University.


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Among many molecules that can cause inflammation, one pro-inflammatory molecule, in particular, interferon-gamma, has been associated with various types of muscle wasting and dysfunction. While previous research in humans and animals has shown that exercise can help mitigate the effects of inflammation in general, it has been difficult to distinguish what role the muscle cells themselves might play, let alone how they interact with specific offending molecules, such as interferon-gamma.


Exercise can help mitigate the effects of inflammation in general. Pixabay

To prove that muscle alone is capable of blocking interferon gamma’s destructive powers, the team turned to an engineered muscle platform that the laboratory has been developing for nearly a decade. They were first to grow to contract, functional human skeletal muscle in a Petri dish, and since then the lab has been improving its processes by, for example, adding immune cells and reservoirs of stem cells to the recipe.

ALSO READ: Hormone Ghrelin May Protect The Elderly Population From Muscle Loss

In the current study, the researchers took these fully functional, lab-grown muscles and inundated them with relatively high levels of interferon-gamma for seven days to mimic the effects of a long-lasting chronic inflammation. As expected, the muscle got smaller and lost much of its strength.

The researchers then applied interferon-gamma again, but this time also put it through a simulated exercise regime by stimulating it with a pair of electrodes. While they expected the procedure to induce some muscle growth, as shown in their previous studies, they were surprised to discover that it almost completely prevented the effects of the chronic inflammation. (IANS)


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Smart living is also about smart breathing.

By Himanshu Agarwal

While smart homes are typically about connected and automated devices and appliances, making it a super convenient and comfortable living experience for residents, there is one connection that we often seem to miss when we speak of smart homes -- the inextricable connection with the indoor home environment.

After all, smart living is also about smart breathing. Unless we breathe clean and pure air even within our homes, smart living remains an incomplete aspiration. Therefore, as we pivot big time to a modern lifestyle with nearly 24/7 gadgets, utilities, and network dependency within our homes, a sense of balance with respect to the indoor ambiance must also be attained. And this balance necessarily means breathing pristine, unadulterated pure air even at homes.

Don't forget we breathe 24/7 even when living in smart homes


Of course, in this time and age when we are actively using some smart device or the other within the premises of our smart homes most of the time, the point that we are also breathing 24/7 need not be as labored. However, the question is: whether the quality of the air that we are breathing indoors is commensurate with the aspiration for this so-called quality of life and experience of living in high-class homes. In other words, even as we think we are living the 'high life' using all the fancy gadgets and increasing convenience in life, unless we breathe the right air, the desire and dream of quality living will not find true meaning.

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