Friday, er, Monday Links – California Whooping Cough, Lung Taste Buds

Let me tell you something: Colorado takes Halloween seriously, you guys.

There were parties. There were dances and haunted houses. There was trick or treating last night with a whole bunch of other people until after 9:00 and, unlike the Deep South where I used to live, there were hordes and hordes of neighbors still up and passing out candy that late.

Hence today’s links and Friday’s absence.

CA Whooping Cough Epidemic Worsening
Ten babies have died, and health officials now recommend senior citizens get vaccinations as well.

British Historian Pleads for More Asthma Research
In this personal account of lifelong asthma and one particularly terrifying attack in Marrakech, Alistair Horne compares recent heart disease and cancer treatment breakthroughs to the relative lack of major headway in your favorite lung disease and mine:

Why is there not more effort to find a cure? As a recent article in The Lancet pointed out, research on lung diseases including asthma is still poorly funded, in comparison to other areas. A GP friend put it succinctly: ‘Heart disease and cancer are sexy; asthma is not .’

Your Lungs Have Taste Buds, and They Could Help You Breathe Someday
Scientists were surprised to find bitter taste receptors in the smooth muscle tissue of human lungs, and they were even more shocked to discover that exposing bitter compounds to airways appears to open them up better than any asthma or COPD treatment on the market now.

Just don’t go eating lots of bitter foods to ease your attacks because it won’t have the same effect.