A Canadian academic is encouraging his students to pick their noses in a bid to see if the habit has any health benefits.
Professor Scott Napper is requesting his pupils to investigate the possible health benefits of eating their mucous in a bid to understand the human immune system better. He believes that eating mucous in the nose may boost the immune system by introducing small and harmless amounts of germs back into the body. His theory follows others that suggest improved hygiene has led to an increase in allergies and auto-immune disorders.
His proposed study involves splitting his class into two. Half will eat their pickings whilst other will not engage in the antisocial behaviour. They will then observe how the immune system responds to the new habit.
Professor Napper said: ‘All you would need is a group of volunteers. You would put some sort of molecule in all their noses, and for half of the group they would go about their normal business and for the other half of the group, they would pick their nose and eat it. Then you could look for immune responses against that molecule and if they're higher in the bogy-eaters, then that would validate the idea.’