Completing the Puzzle: MU Researchers Pioneer a New Diagnostic Tool for Respiratory Diseases

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Story Summary

For lots of families, putting together jigsaw puzzles is a fun and stress-releasing group activity during the holidays: If all the pieces are present, that is.

A specific feeling of disappointment arises when the hours of puzzle assembly result in an incomplete picture of a seascape or collection of movie posters, the bonnet of a lighthouse unfinished or letters missing from the title card of a Hollywood classic.

For decades, patients with lung diseases and their doctors would start down the path of diagnosis and treatment in a similar way, working around the edges of the problem to get to its center, and hopefully a complete picture. But the available tests would often leave patients suffering from cystic fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, farmer’s lung and other lung diseases without answers. ​

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