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D. A Breakthrough In The Treatment Of Asthma

Narrator: This is Science Today. About ten percent of the American population suffer from asthma and the incidence rate continues to rise, regardless of current medication. That's why researcher Gabrielle Grunig of the University of California, San Francisco says their recent discovery of two molecules which trigger the disease is such a breakthrough.

Grunig: Everybody who works in the asthma field is hoping to try to find out what causes asthma so you can make a more better defined treatment. What has made many people very, very worried that even deaths of asthma are still rising.

Narrator: Researchers found immune-based cells called interleukin-4 and interleukin-13 cause a receptor cell in the lung to trigger asthma.

Grunig: It doesn't take away the allergen, what we inhale, what makes us sick, but at least if we get drugs against this interleukin-4, interleukin-13 or the interleukin-4 receptor, then we take away the very molecules inside our lungs that start the disease.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.