A Tale of Moose Drool and Fungus

The Drool-o-tron™ seems to be developing a personality. It signaled us with its blaring sirens and flashing lights. The blinking letters of the wall display said York University .

What? York University in Toronto, Canada’s third-largest university? So it seems. Our computer was locked onto this news release at the university’s website: Moose drool inhibits growth of toxic fungus: York U research. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

Some sticky research out of York University shows a surprisingly effective way to fight against a certain species of toxic grass fungus: moose saliva (yes… moose saliva).

People have been battling toxic fungus for millennia, but until now, no one ever thought of using moose drool. Those Canadians are smart! We’re told:

Published in this month’s Biology Letters, “Ungulate saliva inhibits a grass–endophyte mutualism” shows that moose and reindeer saliva, when applied to red fescue grass (which hosts a fungus called epichloë festucae that produces the toxin ergovaline) results in slower fungus growth and less toxicity.

Here’s a link to the published paper: Ungulate saliva inhibits a grass–endophyte mutualism. You can read it online without a subscription. Let’s stay with the news release:

Inspired by an earlier study that showed that moose grazing and saliva distribution can have a positive effect on plant growth, the research team set out to test an interesting hypothesis – whether moose saliva may, in fact, “detoxify” the grass before it is eaten.

This ranks with the apple that fell on Isaac Newton’s head and inspired his theory of gravity. Get ready now, because here comes a description of scientists at work:

Working in partnership with the Toronto Zoo, the team collected saliva samples from moose and reindeer, which they then smeared onto clipped samples of red fescue grass carrying the toxic fungus, simulating the effect of grazing. They found that the application of saliva produced rapid results, inhibiting fungus growth within 12-36 hours.

We can see it now — a Canadian biologist comes home from a hard day’s work and his wife asks: “What did you do today, dear?”

Okay, that’s enough excerpts, and it’s also enough Curmudgeonly remarks. You’ve got some reading to do if you want to be up-to-date on this topic. But we can’t leave it there. This has inspired us to challenge you, dear reader.

Our challenge is this: What might be a beneficial use of creationists’ drool? There’s so much of the stuff, there must be a purpose for it. Surely you can think of something.

Copyright © 2014. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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12 responses to “A Tale of Moose Drool and Fungus

  1. Moose drool has kept me fungus free.
    I’m guessing creationist drool keeps you intelligence free.

  2. Ceteris Paribus

    From the urbandictionary[dot]com:

    1. Someone that asks stupid simple questions on a forum that everyone and their dog has already asked because they are too ** lazy to search or open their damn eyes.

    2. Someone that drools.”

    Well that first usage of “drooler” fits the creationists quite comfortably just as written.

    But since creationists adhere firmly to the demands of ID, then there must be some practical reason that the ID would have fitted them with such prodigious salivary glands. One possible use would be to cause random kind passers-by to take notice of the foaming glops of drool flowing down the chins and suspenders of these unfortunate persons, and direct them to a nice quiet nearby park bench where they can lie down. [in this case you don’t even need to think about the grammar: Creationists always lie, even when one lays on a park bench unconscious and drooling all afternoon]

    It is a very grand gesture for these creationists to drool, and provide so many opportunities for the rest of us to demonstrate our humanity.

  3. Ceteris Paribus

    gaack – an unclosed blockquote, or use of a ” in the wrong place or some other failure of the will. I would gladly drink a pint of drool if the unseen, but kind, hand of all that rules HTML will fix it up

    [*Voice from above*] It’s fixed. Now wipe your chin.

  4. I suspect that creationist drool is an inhibitor of neurotransmitters. Thus we can now understand why their brain doesn’t work. Wow! Maybe I can get this published in one of their “peer reviewed” journals. LOL!!!

  5. Charles Deetz ;)

    If creationist drool also helps fight fungus, then I think Dawkins, Nye, et. al. should live a long fungus-free life from the drool of jealous creationists.

  6. How about orange, grape and lemon Rhoid Drool soda relying on Creationist saliva in a carbonated beverage. Chick cartoons and a fraudulent list of ingredients emblazoned on the can. Yummy. Straight from Seattle to your fridge.

  7. Jack Hensley

    Sell the stuff as a personal lubricant and hope it will slow the creation of little budding creationists.

  8. If Creationists’ Drool ‘hardens’ on exposure to air into a crumbly plaster-of-paris texture, it could be sold as a sort of intellectual Spackle for filling the great gaps in the ‘Theory’ of Intelligent Design, &c. &c.

    It would need a snappy brand name, maybe something like “Gaps-Be-Gone”, or, “I Can’t Believe it’s Not Science”

  9. Ted Herrlich

    Before we can determine the uses for said product, we have to determine its characteristics. So what can we predict about ‘creationist drool’? It’s probably pretty slippery, as are creationists themselves. Maybe they coat themselves with the stuff before appearing . . . say . . . at a debate. Shall we ask l’il kennie ham about his pre-debate preparation?

    I bet it’s awfully sticky, or else how would you explain how easily it seems to be transmitted from person to person. Maybe the right word is ‘tacky’! It is obviously possible to remove it, or else we would all be drooling it by now.

    Creationists probably started drooling about 6,000 year ago, so I wonder if we have discovered any petrified drool but didn’t know how to classify it? I’m sure ICR’s tame ‘creation geologists’ can tell us!

    I think I see a Master’s degree in a study of the differences in drool components and quantity between different groups of creationists. Do discoveroids drool more or less than evangelicals or AIG’ers, is their drool made up of different component particles? Just imagine all the ‘fun’ gathering samples for such a study. Although I won’t say what discipline the Master’s degree would be.

    Would it be legal to use it for baptisms? If so, that might explain a lot.

  10. Cretinist Drool is obviously a non-Newtonian fluid that exhibits a wide range of erratic shear stress vs. shear rate behaviours. As such, it can provide hours of edifying fun in a non-green-screen physics laboratory for undergraduates. It’s also a close cousin of the less well-known Discorrhoid Slobber. Mixing the two appears at first successful but they soon try their slippery slithering best to unmix themselves, with the Slobber doing most of the work. This is most obvious if one adds a sickly yellow dye to the Drool and a mouldy green dye to the Slobber. But perhaps their most puzzling property is their complete imperviousness to reason-based solvents. As a preservative to extend the shelf life of explosives and ammunition, tests indicate that Drool can keep things unreasonably stable for 6,000 to 10,000 years.

    And that doesn’t even touch on all the fantastic educational value for the biological sciences that can be had from Drool and Slobber…

  11. Was there drool before the Fall? If so, it was pure Drool. Imagine Adam trying to get his pre-sin drool back by alchemy (using ICR’s creationist alchemist naturally):
    Adam: It’s Drool
    A bored Eve: No, nit-wit, it’s Dribble
    Adam: It’s Dribble, it’s purest Dribble.

    (with apologies to Black Adder)