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It's not what you think: MIT researchers figure out how to recreate key part of mucus

MIT News reports have created synthetic mucins - the key ingredient of mucus - which could lead to new antibacterial treatments, because it turns out that, more than just being messy, mucus can help fend off the microorganisms.

[Laura] Kiessling and [Katharina] Ribbeck joined forces to try to create mucus-inspired materials in 2018, with funding from a Professor Amar G. Bose Research Grant. The primary building blocks of mucus are mucins - long, bottlebrush-like proteins with many sugar molecules called glycans attached. Ribbeck has discovered that these mucins disrupt many key functions of infectious bacteria, including their ability to secrete toxins, communicate with each other, and attach to cellular surfaces.

Those features have led many scientists to try to generate artificial versions that could help prevent or treat bacterial infection. However, mucins are so large that it has been difficult to replicate their structure accurately. Each mucin polymer has a long backbone consisting of thousands of amino acids, and many different glycans can be attached to these backbones.

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Comments

...is so interesting I could just spit. (You're welcome UHub Community!)

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Snot entirely the same thing.

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And more sales of Kleenex .

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Magoo starts every morning hocking a big lungy down Magoo’s bathroom sink. About every six months Magoo has to clean the drain of all the lungies that get stuck on the drain plug and clog up the pipe. Magoo.

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Magoo didn't have to sez that.

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Hell no . This is so UNmrmagoo like. No bull, Mr magoo would never say this. You changed , magoo!

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Anyone with experience working in a boatyard knows that synthetic snot is nothing new (with apologies to the ghost of L. Francis Herreshoff for misquoting his famous opinion of fiberglass-reinforced resin.)

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It's snot what you think.

I wonder if this is also related to potential treatments for cystic fibrosis, which is characterized by defective mucous production?

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I am a glob of mucus
Scientist have me in focus
What you think is not
So don't call me a snot
It is not a lot of hocus pocus

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for a superhero origin story. Something goes wrong in a MIT lab, and Mucus Man is born.

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It nice to have something scientifically validated that most children already know. If you get a cut, scratch, or scrape spit on it and it gets better faster.

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You can't say that on television!

Did someone utter the crucial three little words to trigger slime?

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Reminds me of a bit from The Young Ones:

Mike: I bet you are. There’s always tonight. What did you say your name was.

Helen: Promise you won’t laugh. It’s Helen. It’s awful, isn’t it. It sounds like the sort of name someone would give to someone who looks as if they’ve been to hell and back, doesn’t it. It’s hugely embarrassing. Still at least my surname isn’t back. It would be awful, wouldn’t it. Hell and back. My surname is Mucus.

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