Songbird ancestors evolved a new way to taste sugar

Humans can easily identify sweet-tasting foods—and with pleasure. However, many carnivorous animals lack this ability, and whether birds, descendants of meat-eating dinosaurs, can taste sweet was previously unclear. An ...

The evolution of good taste

Does evolution explain why we can't resist a salty chip? Researchers at NC State University found that differences between the elemental composition of foods and the elemental needs of animals can explain the development ...

The best strawberries to grow in hot locations

It's strawberry season in many parts of the U.S, and supermarkets are teeming with these fresh heart-shaped treats. Although the bright red, juicy fruit can grow almost anywhere with lots of sunlight, production in some hot, ...

Food scraps get a bold new life

Most people don't think much about the food scraps they throw away; however, investigators from the Institute of Industrial Science at The University of Tokyo have developed a new method to reduce food waste by recycling ...

Researchers develop cryogenic coffee grinding technology

Skoltech Ph.D. Dima Smirnov and his colleagues from St. Petersburg, Alexander Saichenko, Vladimir Dvortsov, Mikhail Tkachenko, and Maxim Kukolev developed a cryogenic cooling technology and combined it with a cryogenic grinding ...

Heavy water tastes sweet to people, but not to mice

Ordinary pure water has no distinct taste, but how about heavy water? Does it taste sweet, as anecdotal evidence going back to 1930s may have indicated? Why would this be the case when D2O is nearly identical chemically to ...

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Taste

Taste (or, more formally, gustation) is a form of direct chemoreception and is one of the traditional five senses. It refers to the ability to detect the flavor of substances such as food, certain minerals, and poisons. In humans and many other vertebrate animals the sense of taste partners with the less direct sense of smell, in the brain's perception of flavor. In the West, experts traditionally identified four taste sensations: sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. Eastern experts traditionally identified a fifth, called umami (savory). More recently, psychophysicists and neuroscientists have suggested other taste categories (umami and fatty acid taste most prominently, as well as the sensation of metallic and water tastes, although the latter is commonly disregarded due to the phenomenon of taste adaptation.[citation needed]) Taste is a sensory function of the central nervous system. The receptor cells for taste in humans are found on the surface of the tongue, along the soft palate, and in the epithelium of the pharynx and epiglottis.

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