Cystic Fibrosis

Amanda Hazen and Alexis Rodriguez

What is it?

Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic autosomal recessive disorder. It is most commonly found in males and diagnosed at birth. This disorder causes a buildup of thick mucus. The mucus makes it difficult to breathe and can damage organs.

Symptoms,Characteristics and Effects

Some of the symptoms, characteristics, and effects of Cystic Fibrosis are:

  • Damage to the respiratory system
  • Chronic digestive system problems
  • Salty tasting skin
  • Repeated lung infection
  • Constant cough with mucus
  • Constant stuffy nose
  • Difficulty exercising
  • Shortened life span

Treatment Options

Drugs and antibiotics can help reduce the symptoms of CF. Some of these include pancreatic enzyme pills, Dornase Alfa, and Tobramycin. These medications can help prevent life threatening infections and help help break up with mucus.

Current Research

A team from UC San Francisco lead by John Fay has recently discovered why the mucus is in CF patients is so thick and difficult to cough up. Despite what people used to think, Fahy discovered that the inflammation causes new molar bonds to form in the mucus causing it to be thick and sticky. Fahy and his team and looking into a new therapeutic approach that would help dissolve the molar bonds. If successful, this approach would dissolve the bonds which would turn the mucus into a liquid therefore making it easier for the lungs to couch it up.


Cobb, Bryan, and Kathleen Scogna. "Cystic fibrosis." The Gale Encyclopedia of Science. Ed. K. Lee Lerner and Brenda Wilmoth Lerner. 5th ed. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale, 2014. Science in Context. Web. 18 Mar. 2015.