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Mammalian tears are produced by lacrimal glands to protect eyes and to function in chemical communication and immunity. However, excess tears flow through nasolacrimal ductsto nasal tissues, and via the nasopharyngeal duct to the oral cavity where digestion starts. Tears contain soluble proteins that attack pathogens, as well as proteins from the lipocalin family that – with their capacity to transport volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in their eight-stranded beta barrel – are involved indoi:10.7287/peerj.preprints.2702 fatcat:adhjpfnhvbh33k6pos62zc44ua