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Medical News and Perspectives
October 6, 2004

Navigating the Body’s Water Channels, Scientists Gain Insights Into Disease

JAMA. 2004;292(13):1537-1538. doi:10.1001/jama.292.13.1537

As every medical student is taught, water constitutes about two thirds of the body, and the physiological activities that rely on water are numerous and diverse. With water playing such a crucial role in human life, getting it to where it is needed is equally important. While simple diffusion of water molecules across cell membranes occurs in some cases, regulated trafficking in and out of cells is often required.

That is where aquaporins come in. Although scientists suspected that such water channels existed, it was not until the early 1990s that aquaporins were discovered in the laboratory of Peter Agre, MD, of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, in Baltimore, Md.

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