Study reveals how mucus tames microbes

More than 200 square meters of our bodies—including the digestive tract, lungs, and urinary tract—are lined with mucus. In recent years, scientists have found some evidence that mucus is not just a physical barrier that ...

Carnivorous plant traps worms with sticky leaves

Plants eat the darndest things. Scientists have discovered a small flowering plant living in the sandy soils of Brazil that traps nematodes, or roundworms, with sticky underground leaves -- and gobbles them up.

In bubble-rafting snails, the eggs came first

(PhysOrg.com) -- It's "Waterworld" snail style: Ocean-dwelling snails that spend most of their lives floating upside down, attached to rafts of mucus bubbles.

The new T. rex: A leech with an affinity for noses

A new leech species with ferociously large teeth -- recently discovered in noses of children that swam in Peruvian rivers -- is providing insight into the evolutionary relationships among all the leeches that have an affinity ...

Common environmental pollutants damage mucus structure, function

Major disruptions to our health and quality of life are front of mind in an era when wildfires, floods, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic impact Earth's population daily. Amid these glaring threats, the slow but rising creep ...

page 1 from 7

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