Agriculture
Chicken Eggs as Drug Factories
Growing Healthier Tomato Plants
Where Have All the Bees Gone?
Amphibians
Bullfrogs
Salamanders and Newts
Tree Frogs
Animals
Who's Knocking?
Moss Echoes of Hunting
Mating Slows Down Prairie Dogs
Behavior
Mosquito duets
A Global Warming Flap
Meet your mysterious relative
Birds
Ducks
Peafowl
Chicken
Chemistry and Materials
A New Basketball Gets Slick
The solar system's biggest junkyard
Meteorites may have sparked life on Earth
Computers
Graphene's superstrength
Batteries built by Viruses
A Classroom of the Mind
Dinosaurs and Fossils
The bug that may have killed a dinosaur
Fingerprinting Fossils
Dinosaur Dig
E Learning Jamaica
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Earth
Recipe for a Hurricane
The Pacific Ocean's Bald Spot
Vitamin D-licious Mushrooms
Environment
The Best Defense Is a Good Snow Fence
Ready, unplug, drive
Watching for Wildfires in Yellowstone
Finding the Past
If Only Bones Could Speak
Salt and Early Civilization
The Puzzle of Ancient Mariners
Fish
Angler Fish
A Grim Future for Some Killer Whales
Electric Ray
Food and Nutrition
Healing Honey
Strong Bones for Life
The Color of Health
GSAT English Rules
Pronouns
Order of Adjectives
Capitalization Rules
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
Mastering The GSAT Exam
GSAT Exam Preparation
10 Common Mistakes When Preparing for the GSAT Math Test
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
Access denied - Disabled boy aces GSAT
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
GSAT Scholarship
GSAT Mathematics
A Sweet Advance in Candy Packing
GSAT Mathematics Quiz, Teaching Math, teaching anxiety
Math and our number sense: PassGSAT.com
Human Body
Don't Eat That Sandwich!
Germ Zapper
A Long Trek to Asia
Invertebrates
Butterflies
Snails
Crabs
Mammals
Little Brown Bats
Bats
Poodles
Parents
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
Expert report highlights the importance to parents of reading to children!
Physics
One ring around them all
Powering Ball Lightning
Spin, Splat, and Scramble
Plants
When Fungi and Algae Marry
Fast-flying fungal spores
Seeds of the Future
Reptiles
Boa Constrictors
Alligators
Lizards
Space and Astronomy
A Darker, Warmer Red Planet
Galaxies Divide Sharply Along Color Lines
Killers from Outer Space
Technology and Engineering
A Micro-Dose of Your Own Medicine
Crime Lab
Model Plane Flies the Atlantic
The Parts of Speech
What is a Noun
Pronouns
Problems with Prepositions
Transportation
Tinkering With the Basic Bike
Seen on the Science Fair Scene
Morphing a Wing to Save Fuel
Weather
Warmest Year on Record
Arctic Melt
The Best Defense Is a Good Snow Fence
Add your Article

The metal detector in your mouth

When you taste lemons, you know it because they’re sour. Sugar tastes sweet. Salt tastes, well…salty. Tastes buds on the surface of your tongue help you identify food that you’ve put into your mouth. Until recently, scientists believed there were only a few tastes: salty, sweet, sour, bitter and umami — a meaty taste in Parmesan cheese and portobello mushrooms. That idea may be changing. At the Nestlé Research Center in Lausanne, Switzerland, scientists are curious about taste. They suspect that there are more taste sensations than the ones we already know about, and they’ve been carrying out experiments to find out how taste works. To test their hypothesis, they have been exploring the taste of metal. You can probably imagine the taste of metal, but can you describe it?If someone asked you what lemonade tastes like, you may answer that it is both sour and sweet. On the surface of your tongue are taste buds, and in the taste buds are molecules called proteins. Some proteins detect the sourness and others the sweetness. Those proteins help send a message to your brain that tells you what you are tasting. For scientists like those working in Switzerland, taste is defined by the proteins in taste buds. For instance, people disagreed about whether umami (which means “delicious” in Japanese) was really a taste until scientists discovered proteins that detect it. So in order for metal to qualify as a taste, scientists needed to discover whether specific proteins in taste buds can sense metal. The Swiss scientists set out to understand the taste of metal by conducting an experiment on mice. These weren’t ordinary mice, however — some of the test mice did not have the special proteins associated with already known tastes. The scientists dissolved different kinds and amounts of metals in water and fed the water to the mice. If the mice with the missing proteins reacted differently to metal than normal mice, then the scientists would know that the missing proteins must be involved in tasting metal. But if the mice reacted to the metal as usual, then it isn’t a taste or must be sensed by other proteins that the scientists don’t yet know about. According to the results of the experiment, the taste of metal is connected to three different proteins. Identifying these three proteins helps the scientists figure out how a taste like metal works. The conclusions may surprise you. One of the proteins senses superspicy foods, like hot peppers. Another protein helps detect sweet foods and umami. The third protein helps detect sweet and bitter foods, as well as umami. “This is the most sophisticated work to date on metallic taste,” says Michael Tordoff of the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia. These three proteins are connected to a metallic taste, but the scientists think there may be more metal-detecting proteins. They don’t yet know all the different proteins involved, but they’re looking. They do know, however, that taste is no simple matter. “The idea that there are four or five basic tastes is dying, and this is another nail in that coffin — probably a rusty nail given that it’s metallic taste,” says Tordoff.

The metal detector in your mouth
The metal detector in your mouth








Designed and Powered by HBJamaica.com™