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What is this stuff?
Cheerio mates, Trace ear for DNews. Earwax is weird and gross, it's basically congealed ear sweat.
There are two kinds of sweat: most is the cooling watery kind, but some is the thicker smellier kind-- which shows up in the armpit and ear and a few other places.
Earwax isn't really wax, it's mostly dead skin cells, proteins and oils added by the apocrine gland.
The junk is there to protect the inner ear from water or infection and also to stop footholds of bacteria from entering your body.
Earwax fights off some diseases and can lubricate and protect the ear from infection and water.
It's a pretty common system of protection in mammals. The wax builds up over time, and
in some species can reveal a lot about their past. Late last year, researchers at Baylor University
used the earwax of a blue whale to reveal when it went through puberty, which years it was able to find a lot of food,
and when pollutants like mercury were introduced to the whale's environment.
Whale earwax isn't quite the same as human earwax, but based on studies like this, current research is exploring what earwax can teach us!
This week, a study of human cerumen -- the medical term for earwax -- dove into the stuff nose first
and found the smell of your earwax can give away your ancestry!
Caucasian human earwax smells stronger than East Asian or Native Americans humans!
Research published in the Journal of Chromatography B explored the ABCC11 gene, which affects sweat, and
thus earwax, in humans. The type commonly found in Caucasians creates a stickier earwax
and more stinky body odor, while the type in East Asians creates a dryer, flakier earwax and usually less stinky body odor.
It's not that the odors themselves are that different, it's the volatile compounds in the earwax are in different amounts.
Volatile compounds are the tiny particles we sense when we smell something.
Knowing this, scientists can use earwax, not only to tell ethnicity, but in the future
they're going to try to follow those researching the whale wax and see what secrets your ear wax holds.
There are diseases which leave traces in ear wax once they appear in the body.
It might even catalog what you've eaten, or where you've been, based on molecules that get trapped in there! Doctors of the future might be
able to diagnose a possible immune system invader, or health risk, all of just with a digital sniff of your earwax...
Now, your cerumen is protecting you from infection, lubricating your ears, and keeping a health record for your doctor,
but even knowing ALL THAT, there are those of you who will totally want to get rid of it.
Firstly, don't use a cotton swab. Not in the EAR CANAL. Outer ear? Sure! Knock yourself out.
Inner ear? NO WAY! Sometimes, when you poke around in there with cotton swabs,
you're actually INCREASING the amount of earwax buildup, you're mushing it together and causing blockages!
Stop it! Oh, and ear candling is silly and gross. Studies show it doesn't even work and it's not recommended.
If you REALLY do want to get rid of it, talk to a pharmacist or a doctor. They've got drops you can buy.
But why would you want to get rid of this stuff? It's great! Did we change your opinion on earwax?
Tell us on below in the comments and subscribe for more videos seven days a week. Hit me up on Twitter @trace501 if you have any questions for me, and we will see you around!
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Why Do We Need Earwax?

34422 Folder Collection
羅紹桀 published on November 27, 2015
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