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March 26, 1932


JAMA. 1932;98(13):1089. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.02730390043014

The integrity of the organism is maintained not only through adequate nutrition but also through suitable protective devices. The outer layers of the skin containing keratin, the characteristic resistant protein, are admirably adapted to the function of protection. No less well suited for this purpose is the mucous membrane lining the gastro-intestinal tract and respiratory passages. In a recent study, Hilding1 has contributed new facts bearing on the flow of mucous currents in the nose and the relation of the ciliated membrane to it. He points out incidentally that the typical secretion of the mucosa covers the nasal, pharyngeal, esophageal and gastric surfaces; it is like an unbroken membrane extending not only throughout the interior wall of the main tract but also into the sinuses. The beneficent action of the mucus in the mouth and in the stomach has long been recognized. Even in those species without the digestive