Immunology

Gut throws cells overboard when chemical insults build up

A team of Duke researchers has discovered that cells lining the gut of zebrafish—and probably humans too—have a remarkable defense mechanism when faced with certain kinds of toxins: they hit the eject button.

Diabetes

Tiny change has big effects, reverses prediabetes in mice

A small chemical change—shifting the position of two hydrogen atoms—makes the difference between mice that are healthy and mice with insulin resistance and fatty liver, major risk factors for diabetes and heart disease. ...

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 ...

Medical research

A 'super-cool' method for improving donated liver preservation

A new method for super-cooling human donor livers to subzero centigrade temperatures without freezing can triple the time that a donor organ stays safe and viable during transportation from the donor to the recipient. This ...

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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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