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Tue Oct 15, 2019, 02:58 AM

For The First Time, Scientists Have Observed Mucus's Secret Ability to Subdue Germs



BEN GUARINO, THE WASHINGTON POST
15 OCT 2019

We are all full of mucus, and not only because cold season is upon us. Our bodies produce a fresh liter of slime each day to coat our passages and tracts. Mucus may be gross, but its grossness disguises how helpful it is.

A study published Monday in Nature Microbiology demonstrates one of mucus's unexpected beneficial properties: Mucus contains sugars that keep potentially harmful germs in check.

Biophysicist Katharina Ribbeck at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has spent more than a decade exploring the biochemistry that happens within mucus.

"Mucus piqued my interest because it is just this vastly understudied material that occupies a large surface area in our body," Ribbeck said. The gel lubricates the esophagus, lines the stomach, helps sperm move past the cervix and guards nasal tissues.

More:
https://www.sciencealert.com/we-now-know-how-icky-mucus-performs-the-extremely-helpful-function-of-subduing-germs

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