11 - Mucus
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Hello, editor and writer various things, very what's your tagline spilled water on my computer today. Yeah. Still works though for ten minutes. I want sport beer into the back of a computer. It wasn't even my computer Catherine's. And it was a really scary evening. I kept going back to check and see if it would work and definitely turn back on and I'm hanged green, my tag line is bunny nuggets. So every week here on site showed tangents we get together to try and one up amaze and delight each other with science facts, we're playing glory, but we're also keeping score and awarding Hank books to the people who impress us with their poetry or their science facts, whichever happens to be we do everything again to stay on topic here at tangents, but the guest is after all called Sishayi engines. So if somebody on the podcast goes on a tangent, and we all deem it on worthy. We will force you to pay up on your Hank box. Now as always we're going to introduce this week's topic with traditional science poem this week by me, the largest protein in your body is a massive giant in your muscles. It binds them together strengthen power yanking, your bones bearing the weight of your water in flesh rip. Ping your feet over soil, crushing the bones of your food that ultimate protein power beyond measure, a good story to tell. And that is what we say. But it's ally the largest protein in your body might be nothing except m you see five a c not tighten that giant that beautiful thing. It might not be the best story. But it's the one we've got the largest protein, my friends, I think is in your snot. Titan. I've always heard is the largest protein over and over again and these glycoprotein 's their ligamevz, so they're their polymers, basically. But they're ligaments, which is a different kind of polymer, which means it's not the same unit over and over again, it's different units. But titan is like it's huge to what is titan is is one of the one of the proteins that makes your muscles work. I'm not going to get super into it. Because this gas is about mucus, which is what we've just introduced with the science. I it's I think it's like four mega Dalton's, and that's very big usually molecules are measured in kill Dalton's. It's unit of mass. So this is this big old biggest protein in your body. It's not just killed zits. Mega Dalton it's four mega Dalton's. There are mucins. He's mucus proteins that. And this is the biggest one I found forty mega Dalton's how many? Mega Dalton's does a French fry way a whole lot. So so in Graham's this is like ten to negative seventeenth. Okay. So very small still what do makes you booger. Just makes your flying sign is that why it's so slimy compared to everything else because it has biggest bro team. That's kind of the idea of mucus is that you want these very long chains that have lots of hydrogen bonding opportunities with each other. And so they stick together in the same way that like a rubber band is also made of long chain polymers that sort of stick together, and they're really high like, you're wait Cules that intertwine with each other. And then they construction bend and stuff Florida on real science now. It's great. So that the reason I say, maybe is that like, I don't actually know how they weighed these proteins. And so did were there water molecules that are like bound into the protein that they way or or what? But like forty mega-deals very big protein. They don't have a cool name though museum is fine. And is better. So the topic of today's discussion is mucus sery-. Can you explain what mucus is more like a general science answer to that question? Yeah. We already kind of talked about it. It's in my body right now in coming out of me. So I'm method podcasting. Yeah. It's more than half with through a roll of toilet paper on the day. It's early gross. She's willing to knows what the toilet paper. Yeah. Flu shots. Not that. This is definitely rhinovirus or some sort of cold. Yeah. Knows thing. Anyway, mucus is mostly water some ions, and then glycoprotein called mucins which we've talked about. I'm it's basically any substance that secreted by a lot of different members from your body. So it's in your mouth, saliva includes mucus, it's in your sinuses. It's in your throat. It's in your lungs lines your stomach to protect it from acid lens, your intestines, you have mucus membranes. So like, your eyes ears think like inside of your mouth any any sort of tissue that secretes mucus is considered a mucous membrane. And the purpose of mucus is usually lubrication of some sort or more commonly a protection. So it's a barrier for pathogens it protects your body from 'Bacterial or in the case is like dirt flying at you in the case of other animals, non human animals, it is usually used for all kinds of things commutes for hunting it can be used for other production. It can be used for. I don't know keeping their skin moist because they. Need it to breathe or things all sorts of things? Yeah. Mucus and sign is used for so many things we've added a whole other thing. That's true. It doesn't need to contain him use to be mucus. Or is this even something that is like defined a lot of times these words aren't used in like super technical, Wes. I don't know if I slam scientists or mucus scientists are out there, please tell us, but from what I can tell mucus and slime are pretty much overlapping of mucus and biological slime. I feel like some people think that was a hot Hake. And hopefully, they'll write us in. Want to start drawing up some controversy like say definitively? What is and is not without having a really great basis for. If people to listen or not start yelling. Yeah. You definitely got a point for your opponent. It sounded like a real poem. You read it with confidence. I think part of it. That's my my real skill. It is now time for. One of our panelists. This time Seri has prepared three science facts for our education and enjoyment. But only one of them is a real fact the other ones are fake and the rest of us have to figure out either by deduction or wild guess, which is the true fact, if we do we get a Hank book, if we're tricked Sarah gets the Hank. Buck Seri hit us with your three science facts, fax number one. There's a substance called marine, moose lodge or cease snot and massive gelatinous sheets of it can form the oceans from buildups of marine snow, which is basically all the dead organisms and poop and other biological junk that drifts down to the bottom of the ocean cease, not as home to lots of microbes like, viruses or e-coli 'Bacterial. Scientists think it could be a hot spot for disease. But we've recently discovered a tiny species of pygmy squid. That's a dappled to thrive in the snot and even snacks on this nutrient rich, debris sure big floating man of throw teen sounds like a great place. Hang squid act. I'm to jewel squids are unique because of an unusual hunting mechanism instead of ink sacs have specialized mucous sacks with flexible tubes. This is useful for two reasons. They burrow down and create little mucus line chambers to lie in wait and went small fish swim above them, they shoot up streams of mucus which tangles up in the fish's fins and gills, and let's the squid swoop in an attack fax number three vampire squids live in the deep ocean. So they have lots of weird anti predator adaptations, for instance, when it's threatened it'll Rapids webbed arms up and back. So it looks like a spiky pumpkin or pineapple, but as a last resort defense, the vampire squid will spew out. Glowing mucus from the tips of its tentacles bioluminescence coddle stick around for minutes to distract a predator. A squid soms way and may even coat the attacker to attract bigger predators. No way. Does it have a bunch of little holes in the end of its ten is wrong to me. I would think I would know if there were like stuff that came out of tentacles. Yeah. I feel like the. Week. Oh, I think I would know that. There's no, no. If like, I just feel like the the ability to adapt a separate like tube that went down and like shot out a thing. I dunno seems like a lot of that update. Like having a weird year e throw and every single one of your tentacles today have mucus all over the outsides of their bodies, probably. Whereas that come from their pores, maybe they made one big poor at the end or something. Maybe why at the end that doesn't seem right. Seems like maybe it'll be everywhere, and I can shoot it and all different directions six of them. At once. I'm gonna say that one's not the one. I like it. Great. Yeah. Not sure though. Glowing a web of Iran's of squids, not I love it the second one. I definitely when I was researching this read about something that could shoot out ropes of snot. Yeah. Let's just was should. I don't think it was a squid though. I I like this one because I feel like. If Sarah made it up, and she deserves the fact that one reminds me of like, a hag fish, though hack fish knotty in grow. Yeah. They cover themselves in and Mike tie themselves are not to to get it off of them. Oh. That's how they that's how they slip their snot. And then it like attached to the predator clogs their gills and stuff. They're all great. I'm gonna go with number two though. I'm gonna go with the sand. Dwelling snot, spitting squid number one. The this. It's not eating squid. I'm also gonna go with number one. 'cause I I know that cease not is a thing. But I don't know this squid thing, right? Is is also true cease. Not go in the one, you're all wrong. It's not did it again. That seems like a thing. I wouldn't know. That's what I thought I discovered I was like what could shoot it from its tentacles. And then I fact checked it. And it's true Helmi about this weird. Not your. That has all of its tentacles. Yeah. So we think that it's not like a urea threats not a tube. It's just glance at the end of each for some reason, we don't know why was saying yes like was misleading language. I didn't say too I said to oh, so vampire squids are bioluminescence. They have different by luminescent glands all over their bodies. So there's someone their fins, and there's some of the tips of their tentacles and the ones at the tips of their tentacles also have some sort of mucus producing function to them. And we think it's mucus it's like a sticky substance. But we haven't studied taken into the lab and done mass spec on it. Yeah. We haven't done that yet. It's mostly like researchers in summer symbols studying these things stressing out vampire squids, and then they're like laugh and then. Glows the way that they pretty suspicious essence, I found really interesting. They have a molecule called Colin terrorism, which is a type of a protein called Luciferian, and they have an enzyme called Lucifer race. And this is how a lot of bioluminescence bacteria worked too, but they just combine the protein and the enzyme and when the enzyme digest the protein it emits light. And so some species like anglerfish have bacteria symbiotic bacteria that do this? But the squid just makes its own protein in its little tips and fins so it's a little glowing. Boy, we haven't studied their pores closely enough. But in the paper that I read they think it has something to do with rudimentary suckers that got somehow transformed into mucous glands. I have news for you, sir. Yeah. Update we talked about how all of your facts were squid facts. And yet they weren't. So. Not squid, they're called vampire squid. So I see how you might make. They are also not an octopus. They are in their own thing. What? So they share traits with octopuses and squid, and they are a Filo genetic relic that like hanging out in a in a order all by themselves. They have no relatives anymore. That's even cooler fact, which is maybe part of why they have weird things they do look up setting. I will tell you that they they get real weird. Like the answer they looked pretty sleep. But on the inside that it's like lots of teeth on their tentacles sing, it's help them gather that a lot of small things, and what I read is they secrete like long whips of slime to kind of gather at marine, snow and other micro organisms, and then gather it up in their teeth and their. Velebit? Yeah. Their own slime. Eat all the chunks of stuff. They gathered what good slime they have. Yeah. So is you have seeds of truth in your other ones, obviously marine? Snot is the thing or whatever you call it. Yeah. See snot marine moose lodge? Just the weirdest stuff. If you're a swimmer, and you run into these blobs like, you can get e-coli and all kinds of apparently the Deepwater Horizon spill made it worse in the Gulf of Mexico because it probably killed a bunch of small critters in those if they described it as like a blizzard of marine snow after that, and that probably contributed to these giant blobs? So are they mucus the paper that I read about it called amuse lodge matrix? So they have their some sort of structure going on there that provides a good environment for bacteria and other micro organisms to grow in and the composition of the life. Inside the cease not was different than outside. So something about the mix of nutrients, and that may. Matrix provided like structure food everything that a little guys needed to grow and form their own little colony like they're also kind of helping to create that structure. Yeah. So that was true sea. Snot is true the lie was the squid like that. We haven't found anything that really. Yeah. I liked it. A lot. I think if anything climate scientists think it could decrease fish macroscopic life because the they may be pathogens living in it and oh anorexic environment. So if it like coats everything in a layer of microbes and bacteria and things than that can limit where oxygen travels and a lot of macroscopic life means oxygen gentle for the jewel squids. I just made that up. Deserve that. Velvet slime worms our land animals, and they have little slime cannons. It's like if you're magic a garden hose that you turn the water really high. And then it started flopping around on their head and coming out of his slime their muscles, aren't controlling the flopping it actually works like a garden hose. So they just shoot out the slime and their tubes are floppy enough, and the slime is an inconsistent texture enough kind of like water going through a tube that it will just flop around, and that's how it spirals sprays. So there's still trying to figure it out a little bit. The worms themselves are. Squeeze little gland inside of themselves. They need a harder to in a more consistent Sime or be. Yeah. We don't really have good this way. They don't have to ain't so other animals that spray slime have to aim their heads or aim their tubes. Toward a pray. Right. Velvet slams just after be somewhere near the bug that they want to eat. And then they can eat it. So you got three for points. I got three hang bucks. Yes. Oh, my best. I've ever done. We're all in very big trouble. All right time to have a little bit of a conversation with our advertisers. Sasha Danjean supported by skill share online learning community for creators with thousands of classes, and design business and more. You'll discover countless ways to fuel your curiosity creativity and your career join the millions of students already learning on skill share today with a special offer just for listeners you can get two months of skill share for free to sign up. Good skill share dot com slash tangents. That's right. Skill share is offering tangents listeners two months of unlimited access to over twenty five thousand classes for free again goes guiltier dot com slash tangents to start your free two months right now, skills dot com slash tangents. We're back Sarah has three hang bucks. I have one you guys over there on on science couch. Got zilch dummy cash over here. This is a hard subject. No, all I could do search like booger science. Which brings us to the factor. Got too panelists who have brought science facts to present to the others an attempt to blow their minds, the present easy, Hank book to award to the fact that they like the most, however, if both facts are terrible, we can just throw our books away. So we're gonna have Sam and Stephan do the fact of this week, and we're gonna do it by which one of you likes slugs more on like a scale of one to five. Yeah. Have to say it at the same time. All right Kay. Let me you think about them for three to one three point five Sam likes slugs, more everybody. And you were both quite hi, I'm bullish on slug. I guess you guys never farmed cabin. Oh, no, right. So my secret. It's just awful when you're like this beautiful headed cabbage. You take it off. And it's like, oh my God. This thing is seventy five percent slugs. You're right there menace change. Okay. Well. Snail mucus has been used for its medical properties for at least as long as there has been records of people doing medicine, basically Pliny Pocchettino, they all talked about using it mostly to lake reduce swelling. But right now, we are in the golden age of snail slime used as a beauty product in the eighties. Chilean snail farmers who were gathering snails for S cargo and France notice that after they finish gathering the snails their hands were very baby soft. So in Chile they invented a cremate out of snail slime, and it quickly got the attention of like the beauty product world. And so now you can buy like super expensive creams with snail Simon, and you can go to like spas and have snails climb on your face and put their slime on their historic from the source. Yeah. And then how they gathered. I thought was also interesting because it's a secret. I was reading articles about people going to snail sign factories and trying to get into them to see how they gathered the slime and as far. Has anybody? Who makes it says it totally is not harmful to the snails at all. But also, it's like if I bought the size that maybe they have the snails crawl across panes of glass, and then like squeegee off the Slima, and by somehow, and then there's some people who say that they like massage this nails to get their slime to come out. So it's a secret and best pretty much got mostly talking about this because I want to know from from science people of the bullshit or not. All the articles. I read where like it has anti aging properties. Because snail slime promotes collagen creation or it is super go moisturizing, which I guess makes sense. Like it seals on the moisture 'cause you're snail I have the chemicals and stuff here. And I just want to know pudding snail on your face is like real because if things I was reading about where like four hundred dollar procedures for they would do this the sign face. I can imagine it having very small benefit and the four hundred dollar up charges like. Well, look, if someone squeegee ING these glass panes, that's I mean, that's a fifteen dollar an hour job. Someone has to pay for that. That's true. I mean, I it makes sense to me that it would be expensive. But that doesn't mean that it works. Yes. That's the thing that that we know. Well, the more you charge for something. The more people will say that it works, even if it isn't working. So what compounds are in the snail mucus that you want to their glycoprotein. Okay. 'grats the mucus Haya Laurent ick acid and glide cholic acid, those are the three things that they say can make your face lick nice. So Hyler on a gas ID is a lie cost amino glide Cam, which is a polysaccharide, which means it's a sugar that contains amino groups, which are like the things that are in amino acids, which make proteins what they seem to do is. They are within the extra cellular matrix of your cells and they helped bind retain water molecules. Okay. So in your skin like among your cells. They're just little sticky molecules that help bind water, which makes your skin look more plump and full which is probably why they include them moisturizers. What I don't know is applying it to the top of your skin. How that affects your cells beneath your skin in any sort of meaningful permanent way. I think this is why they tied in with anti aging because like more moisture means fewer wrinkles means like baby face skin and higher. You're on a gas is injected and defenses. Ooh. Yeah. It was like a micro needle surgery. Like to get it into the places where it can actually buy into the water, and yeah, and I'm reading an article from tissue engineering is really what it's called. It's a journal in which they injected highly Rennick acid into people and it did increase volume of the tissues of the mice that they inject. Oh, no view of the mice looked great. And then glycol acid is apparently a kind of alpha alpha hydroxy acid that also has to do with water holding capacity, and maybe can affect your epidermis might peel away dead skin. But I'm still skeptical that it'll do anything without injecting it into your cells really do deeply want to know how they extract the mucus, and the fact that they do it somehow isn't itself. A good fact there's some way that they tickle the slug or just squeeze it. No. Well, one of the articles the person was at the factory for a tour that they had scheduled that factory knew they were going to write about how they extracted the Sime. And at the last minute they were like we can't show. You don't wanna show on back? So it's really terrible or like everybody has their own way to do it. And it's hard to go. I just hope they're squeegee and glass because that sounds pretty nice. Imagine you have to keep them alive because they have to produce. Science slams. Stored up in there. I'm here. I'm ready to get jammed with snail mucus. Stephan your uninterrupted time begins. So a guy with also colitis similar to Hank ordered a bunch of parasitic worm eggs from Thailand, and then eight five hundred of them, and then a few months later he'd thousand more and all of his symptoms disappeared. And then they did come back few years later, but he eight two thousand more eggs, and they went away again. Good. And then he was like, hey, scientists look at my intestines and they did. So normally with all sort of quietness in the areas of the intestine where there is active like colitis the tissues are inflamed. And there's not a lot of mucus production happening, but in this guy's intestines. They found that the worms were causing t helper cells in those areas to produce less of a signaling protein that promotes inflammation and more of a signaling protein that promotes mucus production and that guy rid of his information. So it basically. Like, there's there's some scientists who are really into this moving in. There have been a lot of studies. Mostly in an of Mike, mice and stuff that have found that being infected with parasitic worms like seems to help with these various autoimmune and bowel diseases, and there's a lot of people who like are buying these from other countries in like unsupervised or eating all these parasitic, worm eggs, and anecdotally, they're like, oh cured me. But there was also in twenty fifteen there was a double blind. Placebo controlled study that found that there was no difference in that study, the placebo group their symptoms went into remission. Forty three percent of the time. And it was a similar amount for people who had the the worm treatments. Well that I'm definitely not going anywhere megs. Yeah. I don't know. It seems unclear unconclusive ulcer CLYDE is a chronic condition. This for any sort of inflammatory bowel disease. They're currently looking at Krones all sort of clients, irritable, bowel disease Celia. Multiple sclerosis asthma. Not. Yeah. Everything I think we're the seat of this idea came from was just that in countries where people get these infections more often the incidences of those diseases are much lower. And I've heard before of people like travelling to Africa to get infected with hookworm that in that help their asthma. They did say it was possible that the mucus production was the body's way of trying to get rid of the worms that makes the most sense to me where it's like introduce something bad to your body, and it has a different effect than the condition that you currently have it doesn't sound like just introducing a parasite would have a positive. I mean, I don't know could be like have some protein on it that interesting thing like star dislike. Yeah. It's very weird that this is something that someone thought to try and I'm glad that it worked for him. Was he the first person who thought to do it or was he just know it might have just been because he went to scientists? And was like study me. Yeah. And they did. Published papers about him. He's a known right, then then put a picture of the inside of his wormhole and onto the internet. Well, that's a way to describe it. All right. Among give it to a mug it to Sam because I was very familiar with Stephens fact, previously because of because disease. I mean, you have mine too Stephan. Because almost use that as my fact, I thought it was weird and cool. All right. It's time for the science couch in which we asked listener questions to our couch. Finally scientific minds of mostly just sairy. But I guess I'm also here. Sam do you have that question for us? Forty percent asks eating your burgers, dumb, weird good or just plain gross. Grow. So should we go through dum dum T booker's? I don't know. Is it dumb Seri? Is it dangerous? I guess so the more the bigger danger that people say when picking your nose is like routing up in their your fingernails going to scratch, the mucous membranes. You might cause nose bleeds you might scrap something and then get viral or bacterial infections in your nose. Eating your buggers is basically like having juries out, it's happening. Anyway, maybe like the crusty Boogers are things that you don't want in your body because you're nose trapped them specifically. Okay. But it's hard to tell over only the let books not. You recommend that? I won't. Is it weird? Teach boogers. Yeah. I think it's definitely we are always been wearing throughout history books. Probably when we started emphasizing hygiene more than it was like, this is weird. Now, definitely feel like I've seen like champs. Do it. Is it good? He no. I don't think it's good. I don't think it's I don't think it's any extra calories or anything. But maybe a mute. Yeah. That's what the claims are though. There are people on the internet saying that it's good to eat your Bogor's based on some studies, and they make me so mad because the they're like these articles citing studies that studied mucins specifically and the mucins that they were studying were pretty interesting like one class, they tested with HIV viruses, and they isolated these mucins and tested them against HIV mixed them up in there, and then try to infect cells with that HIV virus, and there was a hundred percent inoculation rate. So if you surround viruses with with musicians like it's good at preventing viruses from doing stuff, but these very specific mucins were MU UC five b which are found in saliva, mostly. And so it's mostly like, Why's HIV transmitted through other mucous membranes. But not through kissing. Question that they were looking into. And so all these studies are done about like how cool saliva muezzins? Are they're good at preventing biofilms from forming on your teeth. They're good at like, they might protect against HIV. They might do these really cool things, but people are extrapolating that and saying that that applies to your nose that you should eat a booger. And then you'll be safe from HIV. You should eat a Boettger and your teeth will be cleaner whore things like that. All. All. Susan's in your mouth in any case. They're they're basically saying like this protects you from from the virus in this Pacific specific circumstance. So take it like a pill, and they'll like go through your whole body, not how this works. It's just it's doing the job already. So a lot of people are like we'll eat dirt. It'll make your immune system better. No, you probably don't want to expose yourself diseases. Maybe in the past. We were we had like some advantages because we'd had more diseases over our lifetimes, but we had all those diseases. We don't wanna have diseases the lake, but your immune system will get amped up defense. I'm dislike. No, no. You don't wanna get exposed to Pathan Vinci want to avoid getting sick. Especially don't eat other people's booker's. Tony donate other people's space. Don't eat Boogers. If your goal is to be healthier like their articles claiming that that is a thing. There's no universe in which it is good for you to do it at best neutral best. I think that. We really effectively got to the bottom of that. And I'm gonna go ahead and give Sarah another, Hank. Does it doesn't even matter. She is four and the rest of us have one. Possible that ROY doesn't ever going to happen again. Top leader full of mucus right now. I k- prepared with the science is seeping into your Brian a little bit. Yeah. If you want to ask the science Kaos your questions, you can tweet to us using the hashtag ask sites show, if you like this show, and you want to help us out. It's very easy to do that. I you can leave us a review wherever you, listen as very helpful. It also lets us know what you think about the show second. Please tweet out your favorite moment from the episode. So that we can remember and also laugh along with you. Thank you to categorised and Jonas and everybody else who tweeted us your questions this week. And finally, if you want to show your love for tangents, you could just tell you about us. Thank you for joining us. I have been hanged green, I've been sairy Riley. I'm Steffan chin sample size show tangents co-production with WNYC studios. It's produced by all of us and Kaelin Hofmeister. Our art is by her recommend Sushila, and our sound design is by Joseph tuna, mesh our social media organizer, Victoria Buongiorno. And we couldn't make any of this without all of our patrons on patriot. Thank you. And remember the mind is not have to be filled, but a fire to be lightning. But one more thing the Pearl fish is along alike fish, and some species of them live inside other marine animals, including inside the butts of sea cucumbers. They basically secrete a bunch of mucus to loop themselves up and then because sea cucumbers breathe through their anus. They wait until the cucumber unclench is it's but to breathe and then they wriggle on in.