Spit Power

Recommended Web sites:

Information about the research of Mahvash Navazesh and her coworkers is available at www.apha.org/tnh/index.cfm?fa=Adetail&id=373 (American Public Health Association).

You can learn more about saliva at www.oralcancerfoundation.org/dental/wonders_of_saliva.htm (Oral Cancer Foundation) and www.betteroralhealth.info/uk-orbit/saliva-q-a.html (BetterOralHealth.info, Wrigley Dental Care).

The National Museum of Dentistry has a Web site at www.dentalmuseum.umaryland.edu/index.cfm. Information about the museum’s saliva exhibit can be found at www.dentalmuseum.umaryland.edu/exhibitions/feature/index.cfm?ID=41 (University of Maryland).

Books recommended by SearchIt!Science:

Guts— Seymour Simon

Published by HarperCollins, 2005.

“Every three or four days, you have an entirely new stomach lining.” That’s because your stomach uses hydrochloric acid and other strong substances to soften your food, and these acids damage the protective lining of your stomach. The lining must constantly be repaired. Find out about your stomach and other digestive organs in this book, which explains digestion, beginning with your teeth and mouth. Colorful magnified photographs depict salivary glands, an esophagus covered in mucus, and more. Meanwhile, the text offers clear, fascinating descriptions of what’s going on in your guts. You’ll learn about how food moves through your intestines, what the pancreas and the liver do, and more.

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Power Words

catalyst A substance that starts or speeds up a chemical reaction between other substances. Catalysts are not changed by the chemical reactions they are involved in. Certain molecules in saliva are catalysts that help us digest food.

enzyme A molecule that helps start or speed up chemical reactions by acting as a

catalyst. Enzymes are proteins and are found in the cells of all plants and animals. They play a part in all body activities, such as digestion and respiration.

saliva The watery fluid in the mouth that is produced by glands under the tongue and in the jaw. Saliva moistens food and contains enzymesthat help digestion.


Copyright © 2002, 2003 Houghton-Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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