Mystery of how lungs grow is solved
Cells 'feel' the pressure to grow
By William J. Cromie, Harvard News Office
The puzzle of how lungs grow has been solved. Scientists watching the process in mice embryos have found that budding and branching of new air sacs is driven by the mechanical stretching of individual cells.
What's more, they demonstrated that this growth can be adjusted by manipulating mechanical forces involved in the cells' skeleton, a framework of fine tubes and filaments that give the cell its shape and let it move.