Agriculture
Treating peanut allergy bit by bit
Springing forward
Flush-Free Fertilizer
Amphibians
Toads
Salamanders
Tree Frogs
Animals
Return of the Lost Limbs
Roboroach and Company
Baboons Listen for Who's Tops
Behavior
Sugar-pill medicine
Contemplating thought
Fish needs see-through head
Birds
Flamingos
Blue Jays
Owls
Chemistry and Materials
The memory of a material
A New Basketball Gets Slick
Boosting Fuel Cells
Computers
A Classroom of the Mind
Galaxies far, far, far away
The Shape of the Internet
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Tiny Pterodactyl
Dino-bite!
Digging Dinos
E Learning Jamaica
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
Earth
Distant Quake Changes Geyser Eruptions
Ice Age Melting and Rising Seas
Getting the dirt on carbon
Environment
An Ocean View's Downside
Hazy with a Chance of Sunshine
The Oily Gulf
Finding the Past
Of Lice and Old Clothes
Preserving Ancient Warrior Paint
Digging Up Stone Age Art
Fish
Tuna
Skates
Catfish
Food and Nutrition
How Super Are Superfruits?
Chew for Health
The mercury in that tuna
GSAT English Rules
Finding Subjects and Verbs
Subject and Verb Agreement
Whoever vs. Whomever
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
March 21-22, 2013: Over 43,000 students will take the GSAT Exam
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
The Annual GSAT Scholarships
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
GSAT Exam Preparation
GSAT Mathematics
Play for Science
How to Slice a Cake Fairly
Setting a Prime Number Record
Human Body
Nature's Medicines
Taste Messenger
What the appendix is good for
Invertebrates
Snails
Crabs
Krill
Mammals
African Leopards
Moles
Opposum
Parents
Children and Media
Expert report highlights the importance to parents of reading to children!
How children learn
Physics
Echoes of a Stretched Egg
Road Bumps
Black Hole Journey
Plants
Bright Blooms That Glow
Fastest Plant on Earth
A Giant Flower's New Family
Reptiles
Crocodilians
Anacondas
Snakes
Space and Astronomy
A Dead Star's Dusty Ring
Icy Red Planet
An Icy Blob of Fluff
Technology and Engineering
Are Propellers Fin-ished?
Riding Sunlight
Weaving with Light
The Parts of Speech
What is a Verb?
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
Adjectives and Adverbs
Transportation
Morphing a Wing to Save Fuel
Robots on the Road, Again
Reach for the Sky
Weather
Polar Ice Feels the Heat
Arctic Melt
Recipe for a Hurricane
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™