Human goblet cell. Image courtesy of the University of Edinburgh, Wellcome Images

Raise a glass to the goblet cell

In a paper published last week in Virology Journal, Pascal Gagneux and colleagues at UC San Diego School of Medicine describe how influenza A viruses snip through the protective mucus net to both infect respiratory cells – and then later cut their way out infect other cells.

Mucus is usually deemed a disgusting annoyance, but really it’s not. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.) It is oil in the human engine, lubricating the passages of the mouth, nose, sinuses, throat, lungs and gastrointestinal tract, preventing underlying epithelial tissues from drying out. It’s also a sort of sticky flypaper, trapping unwanted substances like bacteria and dust before they can too deeply penetrate the fairly pristine and sterile inner body.

Each day, a healthy person churns out about 4 to 6 cups of mucus. Most of it trickles down your throat unnoticed. The little factories that make mucus are called goblet cells. It’s an apt moniker because goblet cells are little more than vessels filled to the brim with globules of mucin. That’s a globule cell in the image above; the mucin globules colored blue.

Mucins are glycosylated proteins, but you can think of them more simply as dehydrated bits of mucus packed inside a globule cell. Once released into the water-rich environment of your airways, however, they expand rapidly, absorbing water to reach full, gooey size within 20 milliseconds. That’s one-thousandth of a second. That’s fast. A single flap of a hummingbird’s wing takes 5 to 80 milliseconds.

The rapid release allows goblet cells to respond almost instantly to many different stimuli, from inhaled microbes to a mouthful of eye-watering wasabi.

Intestinal beauty

The colon is the last part of your digestive system, charged with extracting water and salts from solid wastes at the end of the gastrointestinal line. It’s not a pretty job – a lot of bacterial-aided fermentation occurs there – but it’s essential.

To do the job right and regularly requires a fair amount of lubrication. That’s the responsibility of colonic crypts – mucus-producing intestinal glands that keep things moving along.

In this cross-sectional confocal micrograph by Michela Schaeppi of Wellcome Images, yellow cells that produce mucin are shown inside the hexagonal-shaped crypts. The white spots at the centers are crypt lumen where mucus is excreted into the colon. The blue staining indicates pericryptal sheaths.

Watch on

Trying out the #tonymoly #snailhydrogelmask# yes is the snail mask contains astonishing filtered liquid of snail mucin that is a source of boosting vitality. After 10 minutes my skin feel sticky and after few minutes the skin feel soft . There are many other Korean skin care also offer the snail mask, anyone can share which one is the best ? #mrjanallinone #stevejan #facemask#skincare #skincaretips #skincarejunkie #bblogger #bbloggers #beautyblogger #koreanskincare#bestskin #bestfacemask (at Sheraton Suites Houston Near The Galleria)

Today has been great because I found out that I’m going to see my baby (Ed Sheeran) when he comes to Atlanta and it’s perfect because his mucin speaks to me in a way nothing else has been able to ever in my life. His lyrics represent the type of love I crave and his voice is delicious and I’m going to die of happiness when he plays Thinking Out Loud. Ok.

A Cancer-specific Monoclonal Antibody Recognizes the Aberrantly Glycosylated Podoplanin

Podoplanin (PDPN/Aggrus/T1α), a platelet aggregation-inducing mucin-like sialoglycoprotein, is highly expressed in many cancers and normal tissues. A neutralizing monoclonal antibody (mAb; NZ-1) can block the association between podoplanin and C-type lectin-like receptor-2 (CLEC-2) and inhibit podoplanin-induced cancer metastasis, but NZ-1 reacts with podoplanin-expressing normal cells such as lymphatic endothelial cells. In this study, we established a cancer-specific mAb (CasMab) against human podoplanin. Aberrantly glycosylated podoplanin including keratan sulfate or aberrant sialylation, which was expressed in LN229 glioblastoma cells, was used as an immunogen. The newly established LpMab-2 mAb recognized both an aberrant O-glycosylation and a Thr55-Leu64 peptide from human podoplanin. Because LpMab-2 reacted with podoplanin-expressing cancer cells but not with normal cells, as shown by flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry, it is an anti-podoplanin CasMab that is expected to be useful for molecular targeting therapy against podoplanin-expressing cancers.

"There You Go, Now You Know"...


Question of the day:
What causes crusty eyes when you wake up in the morning and where does it come from?
The scientific term for the yellowish crystalline substance sometimes found encrusted on eyelids when you wake up is “Rheum”, or gound. It is also commonly referred to as “sand” or “sleep”. The substance collects around the eyes because of irritation. During the day, the dried mucus consists of salts and proteins secreted by glands in response to dryness or exposure to pollution. The mucus continues to collect and dries out in the corners of your eyes while you’re asleep even though tears keep the eyes moist. The tears have three separate components. The innermost tear layer coats the surface of the cornea and is called the mucous layer or mucin. The middle tear layer is an aqueous layer produced by the lachrymal glands and supplies salt, proteins, and other compounds to the cornea. The outer tear layer is composed of oil from the meibomian sebaceous glands in the eyelids.

Why we say it:
Nanny Goat-
The term “Nanny goat” originated in the 18th century. Some sheep farmers keep female milking goats on hand to “nanny” lambs when sheep mothers either die or reject their babies. But the name nanny goat didn’t come from this common practice. In English, Nanny is a derivative of the common name Anne. Like jack and jenny mules, there are Billy, short for William, and nanny, “Anne” goats.

Ever Wonder:
Why does your nose run and your feet smell?

Vital stats:
The longest vertical drink from a straw the maximum height you could suck it up a vertical pipe would be 32.7 feet. In the case of a soft drink, things are more complicated, Using a very long, thick-walled, plastic pressure tube, most people can usually manage a six-foot suck to get a drink. By sucking, sealing the tube with the tongue, breathing and sucking repeatedly, a 14-foot lift is easily achieved. This is the highest many people have managed because the next option is to stand on a step ladder at the top of a stairwell and this not a good idea if you’re dealing with kids.
Useless facts:
In 1965, a four-year-old nearly drowned at a beach, but was rescued by a woman named Alice Blaise. 9 years later, that boy saved a man at the same beach. That man was Alice’s husband.