CMU researchers look into dangers of e-cigarettes - WNEM TV 5

CMU researchers look into dangers of e-cigarettes

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Researchers at Central Michigan University say they are finding more disturbing links between e-cigarettes affecting smoker's lungs.

CMU College of Medicine's Neeraj Vij is an associate professor of molecular and cell biology. He says like tobacco, long-term exposure to e-cigarettes could lead to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease...more commonly known as COPD or emphysema.

Vij is working with research fellow Prashanth Shivalingappa and CMU seniors Colin Westphal of Linden and Rachel Hole of Oakland. They examined how e-cigarette vapor compared to tobacco smoke by testing how the vapor affects cells. The team found even minimal exposure of e-cigarette vapor for one hour, disrupted the protein processes in cells. It is the same path cigarette smoke and second-hand smoke takes in our bodies.

The team's e-cigarette findings were published as an abstract in the April edition of the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.

"COPD/emphysema is not a genetic disorder," Vij said. "We have described the role of overall protein processing in this and in previous research, which has been confirmed by studies from other groups.

"What we are talking about is how these proteins are made and how they are degraded. This process of proteostasis in our cells has to be very in layman's terms tightly regulated, because if it goes off-balance, it's a big problem."

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