Getting the dirt on carbon
Making the most of a meal
Growing Healthier Tomato Plants
Tree Frogs
Monkeys Count
Stunts for High-Diving Ants
Navigating by the Light of the Moon
Chimpanzee Hunting Tools
Swedish Rhapsody
Pollution at the ends of the Earth
A Meal Plan for Birds
Chemistry and Materials
The science of disappearing
Revving Up Green Machines
Supersonic Splash
The hungry blob at the edge of the universe
Graphene's superstrength
Games with a Purpose
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Did Dinosaurs Do Handstands?
Fingerprinting Fossils
Downsized Dinosaurs
E Learning Jamaica
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Meteorites may have sparked life on Earth
Killer Space Rock Snuffed Out Ancient Life
Hints of Life in Ancient Lava
Improving the Camel
A Vulture's Hidden Enemy
Shrinking Fish
Finding the Past
Ancient Art on the Rocks
Of Lice and Old Clothes
A Human Migration Fueled by Dung?
Cleaning Up Fish Farms
Sting Ray
Saltwater Fish
Food and Nutrition
In Search of the Perfect French Fry
Strong Bones for Life
Chocolate Rules
GSAT English Rules
Adjectives and Adverbs
Finding Subjects and Verbs
Capitalization Rules
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
March 21-22, 2013: Over 43,000 students will take the GSAT Exam
How are students placed after passing the GSAT exam
Mastering The GSAT Exam
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
GSAT Exam Preparation
GSAT Mathematics
It's a Math World for Animals
10 Common Mistakes When Preparing for the GSAT Math Test
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
Human Body
Walking to Exercise the Brain
A Fix for Injured Knees
Taking the sting out of scorpion venom
Giant Panda
African Zebra
Polar Bear
Children and Media
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
One ring around them all
Einstein's Skateboard
Extra Strings for New Sounds
Farms sprout in cities
Making the most of a meal
Springing forward
Sea Turtles
Space and Astronomy
Super Star Cluster in the Neighborhood
Sun Flips Out to Flip-Flop
A Galaxy Far, Far, Far Away
Technology and Engineering
Switchable Lenses Improve Vision
Searching for Alien Life
Are Propellers Fin-ished?
The Parts of Speech
What is a Noun
What is a Preposition?
Problems with Prepositions
Flying the Hyper Skies
Where rivers run uphill
Troubles with Hubble
Arctic Melt
Weekend Weather Really Is Different
Either Martians or Mars has gas
Add your Article

Opening a Channel for Tasting Salt

It can be hard to resist a bag of salty popcorn at the movies. Scientists may now be one step closer to explaining why. They have discovered several genes in fruit flies that help the insects detect salt. All cells depend on salt to survive, and animals need to make sure they get enough of the nutrient. Previous research revealed tiny pores, known as epithelial sodium channels, on the taste buds of rodents and other mammals that respond to salty foods. These particular sodium channels seem to be so important to mice that the animals die when scientists inactivate the system. Researchers at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Iowa wanted to find out if other animals have similar salt-sensing systems. So, they identified genes in fruit flies that they suspected might control sodium channel production. Then, they turned those genes off in a group of the insects. The mutant flies survived. Unlike regular flies, however, they were equally attracted to water with and without salt, and they couldn’t tell the difference between different kinds of salt. If people end up having the same kind of salt-detection system as mice and flies, researchers might be able to figure out why we like salty foods so much. Too much salty food can be bad for your health, so the work could also lead to salt substitutes that taste good but are okay for people with high blood pressure. Even if scientists don't yet know exactly how people detect salt, it's pretty clear that french fries, potato chips, popcorn, and other salty snacks have a natural appeal.—E. Sohn

Opening a Channel for Tasting Salt
Opening a Channel for Tasting Salt

Designed and Powered by™