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Release: Immediate

Discover magazine names UI researcher's cystic fibrosis work one of "Top 100 Science Stories" of 1996

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Discover magazine has included a University of Iowa scientist's breakthrough work on cystic fibrosis (CF) in its "Top 100 Science Stories of 1996."

The discovery was made last March by Dr. Jeffrey Smith, associate professor of clinical pediatrics in the UI College of Medicine. Smith's research found that an antibiotic agent produced in the cells that line the airways is neutralized by high salt levels found in the lungs and breathing passages of CF patients. Because of this, CF patients develop infections that stimulate thick, sticky mucus production. This may obstruct and damage the airways and eventually lead to fatal respiratory disease.

"The Iowa team's discovery may lead to new treatments," the article says. The scientific manuscript was published in the journal Cell.

Smith's research was one of only eight stories in the Medicine category. The top 100 cited by "Discover" also included categories such as The Brain, Biology and Genetics, where medical researchers also play prominent roles.