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Latest Research : Neurosciences : Taste
  Last Updated: Nov 2, 2013 - 11:52:55 AM

Latest Research
Signs of aging may be linked to undetected blocked brain blood vessels
Many common signs of aging, such as shaking hands, stooped posture and walking slower, may be due to tiny blocked vessels in the brain that can't be detected by current technology.
Sep 1, 2011 - 4:00:00 AM

Latest Research
Insects evolved radically different strategy to smell
Darwin's tree of life represents the path and estimates the time evolution took to get to the current diversity of life. Now, new findings suggest that this tree, an icon of evolution, may need to be redrawn. In research to be published in the April 13 advance online issue of Nature, researchers at Rockefeller University and the University of Tokyo have joined forces to reveal that insects have adopted a strategy to detect odors that is radically different from those of other organisms -- an unexpected and controversial finding that may dissolve a dominant ideology in the field.
Apr 13, 2008 - 4:00:00 AM

Latest Research
In fruit flies, homosexuality is biological but not hard-wired
While the biological basis for homosexuality remains a mystery, a team of neurobiologists reports they may have closed in on an answer -- by a nose.
Dec 9, 2007 - 5:00:00 AM

Latest Research
Pheromones identified that trigger aggression between male mice
A family of proteins commonly found in mouse urine is able to trigger fighting between male mice, a study in the Dec. 6, 2007, issue of Nature has found. The study, which is the first to identify protein pheromones responsible for the aggression response in mice, was funded in part by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), one of the National Institutes of Health. Pheromones are chemical cues that are released into the air, secreted from glands, or excreted in urine and picked up by animals of the same species, initiating various social and reproductive behaviors.
Dec 5, 2007 - 5:00:00 AM

Latest Research
Smell experience during critical period alters brain
Unlike the circuitry of the visual system, that of the olfactory system was thought to be hardwired: Once the neurons had formed, no amount of sensory input could change their arrangement. Now researchers at Rockefeller University and their collaborators have upturned this scientific dogma by showing that there is a sensitive period during which the external environment can alter a circuit in the fly brain that detects carbon dioxide, a gas that alerts flies to food and mates. This research, to be published in the December 6 issue of Neuron, may suggest that this brain plasticity isn't limited to the carbon dioxide detection circuit. Rather, it may be a general feature of the olfactory system itself.
Dec 5, 2007 - 5:00:00 AM

Latest Research
Sweet smell
What makes one smell pleasant and another odious? Is there something in the chemistry of a substance that can serve to predict how we will perceive its smell? Scientists at the Weizmann Institute of Science and the University of California at Berkeley have now discovered that there is, indeed, such a link, and knowing the molecular structure of a substance can help predict whether we will find its smell heavenly or malodorous.
Sep 18, 2007 - 4:00:00 AM

Latest Research
Genetic variant linked to odor perception
DURHAM, N.C. – Why the same sweaty man smells pleasant to one person and repellant to another comes down to the smeller’s genes.
Sep 16, 2007 - 4:00:00 AM

Latest Research
Flies prefer fizzy drinks
While you may not catch a fly sipping Perrier, the insect has specialized taste cells for carbonated water that probably encourage it to binge on food with growing microorganisms. Yeast and bacteria both produce carbon dioxide (CO2) when they feast, and CO2 dissolves readily in water to produce seltzer or soda water.
Aug 29, 2007 - 4:00:00 AM

Latest Research
Researchers find new taste in fruit flies: carbonated water
That fruit fly hovering over your kitchen counter may be attracted to more than the bananas that are going brown; it may also want a sip of your carbonated water. Fruit flies detect and are attracted to the taste of carbon dioxide dissolved in water, such as water found on rotting fruits containing yeast, concludes a study appearing in the August 30 issue of the journal Nature. Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, who conducted the study, suggest that the ability to taste carbon dioxide may help a fruit fly scout for food that is nutritious over that which is too ripe and potentially toxic. The research is partly funded by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), one of the National Institutes of Health.
Aug 29, 2007 - 4:00:00 AM

Latest Research
Mice use specialized neurons to detect carbon dioxide in the air
For mice, carbon dioxide often means danger - too many animals breathing in too small a space or a hungry predator exhaling nearby. Mice have a way of detecting carbon dioxide, and new research from Rockefeller University shows that a special set of olfactory neurons is involved, a finding that may have implications for how predicted increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide may affect animal behavior. The finding is reported in the August 17 issue of the journalScience.
Aug 16, 2007 - 4:00:00 AM

Latest Research
Sour taste make you pucker? It may be in your genes
Philadelphia (June 11, 2007) -- Scientists at the Monell Chemical Senses Center report that genes play a large role in determining individual differences in sour taste perception. The findings may help researchers identify the still-elusive taste receptor that detects sourness in foods and beverages, just as recent gene studies helped uncover receptors for sweet and bitter taste.
Jul 11, 2007 - 4:00:00 AM

Latest Research
Difficulty identifying odors may predict cognitive decline
Older adults who have difficulty identifying common odors may have a greater risk of developing problems with thinking, learning and memory, according to a report in the July issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.
Jul 2, 2007 - 4:00:00 AM

Latest Research
Smelling for first time results from knowing abnormalities in congenital loss of smell
New discoveries about the biochemical basis of the majority of cases of the congenital inability to smell any odor, no matter how strong, have enabled their discoverer, Dr. Robert I. Henkin, director of The Taste and Smell Clinic in Washington, DC, to treat such patients, enabling them to smell something for the first time in their lives.
Apr 30, 2007 - 4:00:00 AM

Latest Research
NIDCD director to be named first recipient of Distinguished Service Award
James F. Battey Jr., M.D., Ph.D., director of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), one of the National Institutes of Health, will be the first recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from the Association for Chemoreception Sciences (AChemS), an international body of scientists that advances understanding of the senses of taste and smell. Researchers are working to learn more about taste and smell because these senses can have a major impact on a person's quality of life, food preferences, diet, and overall health. The newly created award, to be conferred on special occasions, recognizes individuals with a record of outstanding service to the chemical senses research community.
Apr 24, 2007 - 4:00:00 AM

Latest Research
How learning influences smell
The smell of an odor is not merely a result of chemical detection but is also influenced by what the smeller learns about the odor. Now, researchers have discovered how such perceptual learning about an odor influences processing of information from the purely olfactory chemical detection system. Wen Li, Jay Gottfried, and colleagues at Northwestern University reported their findings with human subjects in the December 21, 2006, issue of the journal Neuron, published by Cell Press.
Dec 20, 2006 - 5:00:00 AM

Latest Research
Sniffers show that humans can track scents, and that two nostrils are better than one
Berkeley -- University of California, Berkeley, graduate student Allen Liu last Friday donned coveralls, a blindfold, earplugs and gloves, then got down on all fours and sniffed out a 33-foot chocolate trail through the grass.
Dec 18, 2006 - 5:00:00 AM

Latest Research
Carnegie Mellon study reveals that odor discrimination is linked to the timing at which neurons fire
PITTSBURGH -- Timing is everything. For a mouse trying to discriminate between the scent of a tasty treat and the scent of the neighborhood cat, timing could mean life or death. In a striking discovery, Carnegie Mellon University scientists have linked the timing of inhibitory neuron activity to the generation of odor-specific patterns in the brain's olfactory bulb, the area of the brain responsible for distinguishing odors.
Nov 7, 2006 - 5:00:00 AM

Latest Research
Bitter taste identifies poisons in foods
Scientists at the Monell Chemical Senses Center report that bitter taste perception of vegetables is influenced by an interaction between variants of taste genes and the presence of naturally-occurring toxins in a given vegetable. The study appears in the September 19 issue of Current Biology.
Sep 18, 2006 - 4:00:00 AM

Latest Research
Researchers identify the cells and receptor for sensing sour taste
In the last seven years, Howard Hughes Medical Institute researcher Charles S. Zuker and Nicholas J.P. Ryba at the National Institutes of Health have worked together to identify the cells, receptors and signaling mechanisms for three of the five tastes humans can sense -- sweet, bitter, and umami (the taste of monosodium glutamate). Now, Zuker, Ryba, and their team of researchers have identified the cells and the receptor responsible for sour taste, the primary gateway in all mammals for the detection of spoiled and unripe food sources.
Aug 23, 2006 - 4:00:00 AM

Latest Research
Location, location, location!
It's a classic upper middle class dilemma: Should we buy a perfect second home in a place that takes hours to get to, or should we settle for something closer but not as nice? In the rodent world, an equivalent decision-making situation might be, Was the food I liked better down this alley or over there?
Aug 16, 2006 - 4:00:00 AM

Latest Research
Quick -- whatÂ’s that smell?
Researchers at the Monell Chemical Senses Center have found that taking as little as a hundred milliseconds longer to smell an odor results in more accurate identification of that odor. This seemingly simple observation has important implications regarding how olfactory information is processed by the brain. The findings appear in the August issue of Neuron.
Aug 2, 2006 - 4:00:00 AM

Latest Research
Researchers show how brain decodes complex smells
In studies in mice, the researchers found that nerve cells in the brain's olfactory bulb -- the first stop for information from the nose -- do not perceive complex scent mixtures as single objects, such as the fragrance of a blooming rose. Instead, these nerve cells, or neurons, detect the host of chemical compounds that comprise a rose's perfume. Smarter sections of the brain's olfactory system then categorize and combine these compounds into a recognizable scent. According to the researchers, it's as if the brain has to listen to each musician's melody to hear a symphony.
Jun 16, 2006 - 4:00:00 AM

Latest Research
Dr. McCluskey receives top honor for young taste researchers
Dr. McCluskey received the Ajinomoto Award for Young Investigators in Gustation during the 28th annual meeting of the Association for Chemoreception Sciences April 26-30 in Sarasota.
Apr 26, 2006 - 4:00:00 AM

Latest Research
Sweet 'water taste' paradoxically predicts sweet taste inhibitors
Reporting in an advance online publication in Nature, scientists from the Monell Chemical Senses Center describe how certain artificial sweeteners, including sodium saccharin and acesulfame-K, paradoxically inhibit sweet taste at high concentrations. The researchers further report that taste perception switches back to sweetness when these high concentrations are rinsed from the mouth with water, resulting in the aftertaste experience known as sweet 'water taste.'
Apr 23, 2006 - 4:00:00 AM

Latest Research : Neurosciences : Taste
Creating Sugar Substitutes by Understanding How People Percieve Taste
The most important factor in what kind of sweetener people prefer has little to do with how sweet it tastes. Rather, it has more to do with other tastes in the sweetener, such as bitterness or sourness, new research suggests.
Mar 29, 2006 - 6:22:00 AM

Latest Research
Neuroscientists discover new cell type that may help brain maintain memories of smells
It was surprising to the researchers that no one had studied these cells before given the references to them in important scientific papers going back for over a hundred years.
Mar 15, 2006 - 5:00:00 AM

Latest Research : Neurosciences : Taste
Living taste cells produced outside the body
Researchers from the Monell Chemical Senses Center have succeeded in growing mature taste receptor cells outside the body and for the first time have been able to successfully keep the cells alive for a prolonged period of time. The establishment of a viable long-term model opens a range of new opportunities to increase scientists' understanding of the sense of taste and how it functions in nutrition, health and disease.
Feb 25, 2006 - 10:04:00 AM

Latest Research
Living taste cells produced outside the body
We have an important new tool to help discover molecules that can enhance or block different kinds of tastes, explains principle investigator Nancy Rawson, PhD, a cellular biologist. In addition, the success of this technique may provide hope for people who have lost their sense of taste due to radiation therapy or tissue damage, who typically lose weight and become malnourished. This system gives us a way to test for drugs that can promote recovery.
Feb 23, 2006 - 5:00:00 AM

Latest Research : Neurosciences : Taste
Brain anticipates taste, shifts gears - Study
As the prism of our senses, the human brain has ways of refracting sensory input in defiance of reality. This is seen, for example, in the placebo effect, when simple sugar pills or inert salves taken by unwitting subjects are seen to ease pain or have some other beneficial physiological effect. How the brain processes this faked input and prompts the body to respond is largely a mystery of neuroscience. Now, however, scientists have begun to peel back some of the neurological secrets of this remarkable phenomenon and show how the brain can be rewired in anticipation of sensory input to respond in prescribed ways. Writing in the current issue (March 1, 2006) of the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, a team of University of Wisconsin-Madison scientists reports the results of experiments that portray the brain in action as it is duped.
Feb 22, 2006 - 4:22:00 PM

Latest Research : Neurosciences : Taste
Bitter taste receptor gene and risk of alcoholism
A team of researchers, led by investigators at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has found that a gene variant for a bitter-taste receptor on the tongue is associated with an increased risk for alcohol dependence. The research team studied DNA samples from 262 families, all of which have at least three alcoholic individuals. The families are participating in a national study called the Collaborative Study of the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA). COGA investigators report in the January issue of the American Journal of Human Genetics on the variation in a taste receptor gene on chromosome 7 called TAS2R16.
Jan 10, 2006 - 3:07:00 PM

Latest Research
Where your brain wires itself to like
Now, John O'Doherty and his colleagues have traced where in the reward-processing regions of the brain such associations are developed. They described their findings in an article in the January 5, 2006, issue of Neuron. More broadly than offering insights into food preference, they said, their findings aid understanding of the fundamental neural machinery by which the brain establishes all preference behavior.
Jan 4, 2006 - 5:00:00 AM

Latest Research
A spoonful of sugar makes some kids feel good
Now researchers at the Monell Chemical Senses Center report in the current issue of the journal Pain that the analgesic efficacy of sweet taste is influenced both by how much a child likes sweet taste and by the child's weight status.
Dec 15, 2005 - 5:00:00 AM

Latest Research
Salty taste preference linked to birth weight
In a paper published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the Monell researchers report that individual differences in salty taste acceptance by two-month old infants are inversely related to birth weight: lighter birth weight infants show greater acceptance of salt-water solutions than do babies who were heavier at birth.
Dec 7, 2005 - 5:00:00 AM

Latest Research : Neurosciences : Taste
A working 'aftertaste' hypothesis: certain tastants block the natural taste 'off-switch'
It's no secret that George Bush the Elder doesn't like broccoli. That he's not alone is no surprise. But the range of foods that many people won't eat because they are sensitive to "bitter" taste, or, in the case of non-sugar sweeteners, an "unacceptable aftertaste," is longer than you might think. These include spinach, lettuce and for some, even citrus fruits and juices.
Aug 30, 2005 - 7:18:00 PM

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