myeloperoxidase helps make chest goo green

Posted on 05 June 2009

myeloperoxidaseI’m pleased to report that it’s iron containing enzymes like myeloperoxidase that ensure that the colour of the stuff that comes out of your chest and head while sick is a charming green. Present in neutrophils (a type of white blood cell), this enzyme will convert hydrogen peroxide and free chloride ions into hypochlorus acid – not too dissimilar to what you use to clean your bathroom floor.

Sadly, spewing bleach all over the place tends to kill neutrophils, sending their proteiny remains out into your tissue to brighten your day. These are the things I think about when I cough up goo.


2 responses to myeloperoxidase helps make chest goo green

  • mimbles says:

    Did you know that Martin made it into the papers with a story about his work studying myeloperoxidase?
    http://www.smh.com.au/national/its-snot-so-easy-being-green-20090512-b1u0.html

    • cam says:

      Wow, no kidding! Oh actually, I remember having a conversation about something along those lines at Grandma’s place a while back now that you mention it. Interesting stuff!

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