MadSci Network: General Biology

Re: What are tears made from?

Date: Fri Jan 11 22:23:20 2002
Posted By: Michel Ouellet, Grad student in Microbiology / Immunology
Area of science: General Biology
ID: 1008880352.Gb

Hi Katie,

Tears are made from... water!  (but you already knew this I guess...)

They contain Sodium Chloride (NaCl) which accounts for the salty taste.  
In fact, the sodium chloride concentration in tears is about the same as 
the one of oceans, evidently a consequence of our aqueous past.

Tears also contain a little bit of mucus, a lot of antibodies and plenty 
of lysozyme, an antibacterial enzyme.  These components protect, humidify, 
and lubricate the eye surface so that it stays healthy and shiny.

I hope this answers your question.



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