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A totally amatuer muse

Allen Black medm003 at uabdpo.dpo.uab.edu
Thu Jan 13 20:47:32 EST 1994

In article <2h3slo$ks7 at tribune.usask.ca>, katzd at herald.usask.ca (David
Katz) wrote:
> A while back, while watching a National Geographic on primates, I
> noticed one of them appear to pick its nose and then put the finger into
> its mouth.  This is a typical habit of human children, as any parent
> knows.  The episode led me, eventually, to wonder if there is any
> biological basis for the behaviour.

Yeah! it tastes good!

Just kidding, I wouldn't be suprised if there was some relevance to
something.  Since the sinuses drain into the GI tract and the mucosal
system is common to both systems there might be a connection.  However, I
doubt eating boogers alone has a strong immunological effect simply because
the amount is so small versus what drains daily down the back of the
throat.  I don't think this subject has been addressed, but it does raise
an interesting point.  I have often wondered why rodents and even young
dogs are corprophagic (eat their crap).  Could this help keep the transiant
food antigen levels in the gut high enough to be either toleragenic or
immunogenic.  Its another one of those gross questions that just begs for
an answer.  I wonder if NIH will bite?

BTW, I know you asked for a e-mail return but this might make an
interesting thread, so that's why I'm posting.

Allen Black
Univ. of Alabama at Birmingham
Dept. of Microbiology
medm003 at aubdpo.uab.edu

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