University of Saskatchewan researchers working at the Canadian Light Source (CLS) synchrotron have developed a new imaging technique that reveals an unknown component of the immune system in the lungs, one that promises insights that could benefit cystic fibrosis patients. Their findings are published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

“We discovered that the airway responds to inhaled bacteria by secreting airway surface liquid,” said Juan Ianowski, assistant professor of physiology in the U of S College of Medicine and lead researcher on the team. “This is a previously unknown component of the innate immune defense.”