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November 27, 2012

Richard Superfine, Taylor-Williams Distinguished Professor of Physics and Astronomy

Mention the word mucus and someone might hand you a tissue and walk away quickly. But mucus, and the long chain molecules that give it its properties, mucins, exist throughout your body and are essential for good health. They act as a barrier fluid, as a lubricant, as a filter, and they coat almost every cell of your body. Remarkably, we know very little about them because we are only recently developing the tools to study their component parts–sugars. We will take a fast tour through the biology and even the physics of these remarkable molecules and the fluids they create, and understand why this goo is so glorious.

TIME: 4:30 to 6:00 p.m.

Image: A blue-fluorescent lectin was used to stain the mucus of goblet cells.
Source: Multi-photon excitation microscopy.
BioMedical Engineering OnLine, 2006, 5:36.


All Spotlight on Scholars events take place at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill. There are no preparatory readings for these events.

Program Tuition: Register ahead of time and pay $18.00 per program or pay only $8 if you are a member of the UNC General Alumni Association (GAA). To check your membership status or to join the GAA, please visit or call 800.962.0742. GAA membership is open to all UNC alumni and friends. Tuition is $20.00 for everyone paying at the door.

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