Contact with stomach acid keeps the mucin lining the epithelial cell layer in a spongy gel-like state. This consistency is impermeable to the bacterium Heliobacter pylori
. However, the bacterium releases urease which neutralizes the stomach acid. This causes the mucin to liquefy, and the bacterium can swim right through it.
Full story at:http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=115409Praise:
“Thanks, Zina! I'm really a fan of finding clear ways to communicate science, and this illustration is a great example. Thank you for your excellent work.” --Randy H. Ewoldt
Mechanical Engineering Department
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Also featured in:MedicineWorld.orghttp://medicineworld.org/stories/lead/8-2009/uncovering-the-secrets-of-ulcer-causing-bacteria.htmlScience Dailyhttp://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090812163805.htm