Medical research

Snail slime: The science behind mollusks as medicine

Snails are well known for their lack of speed and their ability to upset gardeners. But there is growing scientific interest in the familiar sticky trail of slime they leave behind—and the medicinal value it may contain.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Nanoparticles wiggling through mucus may predict severe COPD

In a proof-of-concept experiment, researchers from Johns Hopkins Medicine say they have successfully used microscopic man-made particles to predict the severity of patients' chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) by ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Towards better hand hygiene for flu prevention

Rubbing hands with ethanol-based sanitizers should provide a formidable defense against infection from flu viruses, which can thrive and spread in saliva and mucus. But findings published this week in mSphere challenge that ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Mucus, cough and chronic lung disease: New discoveries

As a cold ends, a severe mucus cough starts. Sound familiar? Two studies now give explanations: First, crucial mechanisms of the mucus in both diseased and healthy airways; second, what happens in such chronic lung diseases ...

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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.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA