Medical research

Scientists design way to track steps of cells' development

Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have developed a new tool described as a "flight data recorder" for developing cells, illuminating the paths cells take as they progress from one type to ...

Genetics

Researchers find genetic cause for fatal response to Hepatitis A

Researchers have identified a genetic mutation that caused an 11-year-old girl to suffer a fatal reaction to infection with the Hepatitis A virus (HAV). The study, which will be published June 18 in the Journal of Experimental ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Scientists discover how hepatitis C 'ghosts' our immune system

Scientists from Trinity College Dublin have discovered how the highly infectious and sometimes deadly hepatitis C virus (HCV) "ghosts" our immune system and remains undiagnosed in many people. They report their findings today ...

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Liver

The liver is a vital organ present in vertebrates and some other animals; it has a wide range of functions, a few of which are detoxification, protein synthesis, and production of biochemicals necessary for digestion. The liver is necessary for survival; there is currently no way to compensate for the absence of liver function.

This organ plays a major role in metabolism and has a number of functions in the body, including glycogen storage, decomposition of red blood cells, plasma protein synthesis, hormone production, and detoxification. It lies below the diaphragm in the thoracic region of the abdomen. It produces bile, an alkaline compound which aids in digestion, via the emulsification of lipids. It also performs and regulates a wide variety of high-volume biochemical reactions requiring highly specialized tissues, including the synthesis and breakdown of small and complex molecules, many of which are necessary for normal vital functions.

Medical terms related to the liver often start in hepato- or hepatic from the Greek word for liver, hēpar (ήπαρ).

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