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How the brain's sighing reflex was named

Two tiny nerve clusters in the brain stem are responsible for turning normal breaths into sighs. The discovery may one day help patients who cannot breathe deeply without assistance, or who suffer from disorders marked by constant sighing.

The clusters, which make you sigh every five minutes (it's to fill out our lungs fully which is very good for health), are found in the pre-Butzinger complex. Great name so where's it from? Newsday's Lawrence Pollard asked Professor Jack Feldman of the University of California - whose team made the discovery - to explain.

(Pic: A fluorescent green marker illuminating the 200 neurons on each side of the brain steam that control the sighing reflex Credit: PA)

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