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3D illustration of an infant's lungs
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Research Feature
Might pave the way for new and improved treatments for a wide variety of respiratory diseases Maps may be great tools for helping you find your way around unfamiliar places, but in the future, a new type of map well might help save your life. Welcome to the Molecular Atlas of Lung Development Program, or LungMAP, a historic effort to help...
Photograph of Jennelle Stephenson work with a nurse at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center.
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Research Feature
When CBS’s 60 Minutes aired the compelling story of a Florida woman whose severe sickle cell disease symptoms were alleviated with a cutting edge gene therapy technique, people listened. A lot of them. The treatment happened at the National Institutes of Health, and since the showcasing of its dramatic success, NIH has been responding to scores of...
3D models of infant hearts
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Research Feature
Advances in Congenital Heart Disease Research Are Helping Kids Thrive In 1949 when the National Heart Institute—not yet the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute—began awarding research grants in pediatric cardiovascular disease, among the first was to a surgeon named Alfred Blalock, M.D. With his colleagues at Johns Hopkins University—Helen...
A man looks at old pictures with his son
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Research Feature
Visit highlights enormous strides in congenital heart disease research Fifty years ago, amid national protests over the war in Vietnam and giddy anticipation of man’s first walk on the moon, Gladys and Thomas Kaminski drove up to the gates of the National Institutes of Health, holding out hope for a miracle. Tom Kaminski, 7, with his father in 1969...
Dr. Oyebola in the lab.
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Research Feature
A conversation with Dr. Kolapo Oyebola It is not lost on Kolapo Oyebola, Ph.D., that half the sickle cell disease cases worldwide can be found in his native Nigeria. This tragic fact, said the National Institutes of Health (NIH) postdoctoral fellow, has long been top of mind—and he is bent on doing something about it. Something big. He wants to...
Chicken and beef meat in foam packaging
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Research Feature
Detailed comparison suggests plant proteins are better for the heart If you’re among the millions of Americans who are eating more chicken because you think it has less fat and is better for your heart than a good ol’ hot dog or burger, researchers are offering some new food for thought. In a study that could debunk years of conventional wisdom,...
African american grandmother happy after working out
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Research Feature
If you are a woman over 60, move more. Move often. Break those long sitting bouts. Why? Literally, every time you twist, turn, walk, or stand counts towards improving your cardiovascular health. That’s the good-news message from two recently published studies on the cardiovascular effects of sedentary behaviors and light physical activity in older...
T. Morgan Dixon (left) and Vanessa Garrison, founder of GirlTrek.
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Research Feature
Vanessa Garrison and T. Morgan Dixon know a ton about fitness. Between the two, they’ve hiked, walked, biked, and run more miles than they can ever begin to count. But nine years ago, when the two college buddies founded GirlTrek, now the largest public health nonprofit for African American women and girls in the United States, their first thought...
Newborn blood spot (heel prick) test (the Guthrie' test). A physician performing the pinprick puncture in one heel of a newborn to collect their blood to screen for inborn errors of metabolism.
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Research Feature
Soon after birth, a baby in the United States is tested for sickle cell disease, the often-devastating genetic blood disorder affecting more than 100,000 Americans and 20 million of people worldwide. If positive, that newborn typically begins a course of treatment that can greatly prolong life and help stave off complications of the disease. But in...
Illustration of human head with brain and pills.
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Research Feature
The story of the U.S. opioid crisis is often told through numbers. And for many that makes sense, because the numbers are staggering: More than two million Americans suffer from opioid use disorder (OUD), a serious, but treatable chronic illness that claims the lives of more than 130 people every day. Many with OUD carry another burden, however:...
Image of the cover of the January edition of the Transfusion journal
Credit: Transfusion journal
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Research Feature
Every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood. Five million people receive a blood transfusion every year in the U.S. In a country where blood is perennially in short supply, it is the most common medical procedure of all. Yet giving to a blood bank is not always a slam dunk—some people get turned away because of strict rules meant for...
Cure Sickle Cell.
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Research Feature
When the NHLBI announced the launch of the Cure Sickle Cell Initiative on September 13, many in the sickle cell disease community responded with enthusiasm. Patients, family members, and advocates took to social media and other channels to say they are ready to do their part, starting with spreading the news about the initiative to their neighbors,...
Photo of blood pressure monitor on a person's arm
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Research Feature
Health experts are calling the recent release of new blood pressure guidelines a major step toward helping Americans reduce their risk of heart disease, the leading cause of U.S. deaths. Developed jointly by the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC), the guidelines now define hypertension as a systolic blood...
A person's sleep pattern is being charted out.
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Research Feature
Might lead to better understanding of sleep disorders, heart disease, and more If you feel energized or tired around the same time each day, or routinely get up early or stay up late—the familiar ‘early riser’ or ‘night owl’ syndrome—you are witnessing, in real time, your circadian rhythm at work. That’s the 24-hour internal body clock which...
microscope being used in research.
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Research Feature
NHLBI K-12 grants will advance implementation science Every year, the outcomes of many millions of dollars in medical and health care research are, if not lost in translation, at least significantly delayed in getting into your doctor’s office. Some experts propose that discoveries can take as long as 17 years, on average, to enter routine clinical...
A microscope being used in research
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Research Feature
A broken heart can’t fix itself—at least not yet. Consider what happens after a heart attack, when the cardiac muscle gets damaged. The heart does such a poor job at regenerating new muscle that scar tissue quickly develops in its place. The problem: that scar tissue doesn’t contract like normal tissue does, and the heart’s capacity to pump blood...
Nkechinyem (Nke) Nwabuzor
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Research Feature
They ranged in age from 15 to 61—four African American women, all with stories to tell about their struggles with sickle cell disease, all with stories about a common experience that helped them through those struggles: participating in clinical trials. It mattered, said the women, all of whom had joined trials funded by the National Institutes of...
Microscopic view of sickle, and normal blood cells.
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Research Feature
The notion of altering a person’s genes to cure disease used to be the stuff of science fiction. But gene editing experiments aimed at the genetic disorder that causes sickle cell disease are now making their way from the laboratory to clinical trials. And researchers supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) are hoping...