Plasma fibronectin: keeping the delicate balance between bleeding and clotting

What is this research about?

When a blood vessel is injured, a clot forms at the vessel wall to plug the injury. This is necessary to stop bleeding. However, clots may also form within vessels, for example when an atherosclerotic deposit (plaque) ruptures. These clots can become life-threatening, causing a heart attack or stroke. Maintaining a balance between preventing blood loss (called hemostasis) and preventing unnecessary clotting (called thrombosis) is critical. While much is known about how hemostasis/thrombosis is controlled in the body, the process is not fully understood.

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