Medical research

Scientists reverse deadly impacts of asthma in mice

Mucus in the lungs can be fatal for asthma patients, but scientists at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus have broken up those secretions at the molecular level and reversed their often deadly impacts.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Understanding lung infections in patients with cystic fibrosis

Staphylococcus aureus (which includes MRSA) is the most prevalent organism isolated from the airways of children with cystic fibrosis (CF), and is treated using antibiotics, but its role in lung disease is poorly understood.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

New research examines mechanics of mucus in cystic fibrosis patients

If you've ever had a cold, you know that too much mucus can be an annoyance, but mucus plays a very important role in the body. The respiratory system creates mucus as part of the immune system, meant to trap inhaled bacteria, ...

Medical research

Discoveries reshape understanding of gut microbiome

The human gut is home to microorganisms that outnumber our cells by a factor of 10 to 1. Now, discoveries by scientists at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation have redefined how the so-called gut microbiome operates ...

Medical research

Allergic asthma transforms cells of the airway

New research at National Jewish Health shows that allergic asthma fundamentally transforms the human airway, reducing cells' ability to remove pollutants and fight infections. Allergic asthma, the most common form of the ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Mucus breakthrough could help patients breathe easy

Worldwide, hundreds of millions of people are impacted by chronic respiratory disease. COPD alone affects more than 250 million people, causing 3 million deaths each year. People with chronic respiratory diseases typically ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

JK Rowling's breathing technique could spread coronavirus

Harry Potter author JK Rowling says a breathing technique has helped her coronavirus-like respiratory symptoms, a claim that has been widely reported and shared on social media.

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Mucus

In vertebrates, mucus (adjectival form: "mucous") is a slippery secretion produced by, and covering, mucous membranes. Mucous fluid is typically produced from mucous cells found in mucous glands. Mucous cells secrete products that are rich in glycoproteins and water. Mucous fluid may also originate from mixed glands, which contain both serous and mucous cells. It is a viscous colloid containing antiseptic enzymes (such as lysozyme), immunoglobulins, inorganic salts, proteins such as lactoferrin, and glycoproteins known as mucins that are produced by goblet cells in the mucous membranes and submucosal glands. This mucus serves to protect epithelial cells in the respiratory, gastrointestinal, urogenital, visual, and auditory systems in mammals; the epidermis in amphibians; and the gills in fish. A major function of this mucus is to protect against infectious agents such as fungi, bacteria and viruses. The average human body produces about a litre of mucus per day.

Bony fish, hagfish, snails, slugs, and some other invertebrates also produce external mucus. In addition to serving a protective function against infectious agents, such mucus provides protection against toxins produced by predators, can facilitate movement and may play a role in communication.

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