A totally amatuer muse

Paul N Hengen pnh at fcs260c2.ncifcrf.gov
Fri Jan 14 20:00:05 EST 1994


>> 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.

> 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?
.                                  ^^^^^
I won't touch THAT one, but you could open a private donor bank yourself
and charge for vaccinations (oral of course) }:^P

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* Paul N. Hengen, Ph.D.                           /--------------------------/*
* National Cancer Institute (NIH)                 |Internet: pnh at ncifcrf.gov |*
* Laboratory of Mathematical Biology              |   Phone: (301) 846-5581  |*
* Frederick Cancer Research and Development Center|     FAX: (301) 846-5598  |*
* Frederick, Maryland 21702-1201 USA              /--------------------------/*
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