Harnessing next generation sequencing to detect SARS-CoV-2

Researchers at the Vienna BioCenter designed a testing protocol for SARS-CoV-2 that can process tens of thousands of samples in less than 48 hours. The method, called SARSeq, is published in the journal Nature Communications ...

Are COVID-sniffing dogs the new tool in helping detect the virus?

Pandemic protocols and procedures are rapidly evolving as we learn more about getting the spread of COVID-19 under control. One new tool to help us track those infected with COVID-19 may be COVID-sniffing dogs. Dr. David ...

Scientists synthesize tick spit protein for first time

Using the properties of naturally occurring proteins offers huge potential for new medicines. Charlotte Franck in Professor Richard Payne's lab has for the first time made the anti-inflammatory evasin proteins found in tick ...

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Saliva

Saliva (also referred to as spit , spittle or slobber) is the watery and usually frothy substance produced in the mouths of humans and most other animals. Saliva is produced in and secreted from the salivary glands. Human saliva is composed mostly of water, but also includes electrolytes, mucus, antibacterial compounds, and various enzymes. As part of the initial process of food digestion, the enzymes in the saliva break down some of the starch and fat in the food at the molecular level. Saliva also breaks down food caught in the teeth, protecting them from bacteria that cause decay. Furthermore, saliva lubricates and protects the teeth, the tongue, and the tender tissues inside the mouth. Saliva also plays an important role in tasting food by trapping thiols produced from odourless food compounds by anaerobic bacteria living in the mouth.

Various species have evolved special uses for saliva that go beyond predigestion. Some swifts use their gummy saliva to build their nests. Some Aerodramus swiftlet nests are made only from saliva and used to make bird's nest soup. Cobras, vipers, and certain other members of the venom clade hunt with venomous saliva injected by fangs. Some arthropods, such as spiders and caterpillars, create thread from salivary glands.

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