By analyzing the genomes of 99 species of vinegar flies and evaluating their chemical odor profiles and sexual behaviors, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology show that sex pheromones and the corresponding olfactory channels in the insect brain evolve rapidly and independently. The new study is a valuable basis for understanding how pheromone production, their perception and processing in the brain, and ultimately the resulting behavior drive the evolution of new species.
Patients who had their wisdom teeth extracted had improved tasting abilities decades after having the surgery.
The same taste-sensing molecule that helps you enjoy a meal from your favorite restaurant may one day lead to improved ways to treat diabetes and other metabolic and immune diseases. TRPM5 is a specialized protein that is concentrated in the taste buds, where it helps relay messages to and from cells. It has long been of interest to researchers due to its roles in taste perception and blood sugar regulation.
What The Study Did: Patients with COVID-19-related loss of smell were evaluated for one year after the diagnosis.
Monell researchers have shown that the presence of certain food proteins, such as those in egg yolk, suppresses extra virgin olive oil's purported less desirable sensory qualities, such as bitterness and pungency.
In a study of taste and smell dysfunction with 40 cancer survivors, scientists at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign found that the tips of these individuals' tongues were significantly less sensitive to bitter, salty or sweet tastes than peers in the control group who had never been diagnosed with cancer.
The stink of ammonia in urine, sweat, and rotting meat repels humans, but many insects find ammonia alluring. Now, UConn researchers have figured out how the annoying insects smell it, a discovery that could lead to better ways to make them buzz off.
Beware of those snack attacks. A new study in Appetite has confirmed the small luxuries, from sweets and chocolate to salty treats, have helped to lift our spirits - and kilojoule intake - during COVID-19 lockdowns. Researchers in England and Australia have gathered evidence about similar experiences in the UK and Victoria, Australia to warn about the effect of extended pandemic lockdowns on our eating behaviours.
A team of scientists from the Leibniz Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich has now discovered that the odorant receptor OR5K1 is specialized to recognize pyrazines in both humans and domesticated animals. These are volatile substances that contribute to the typical odor of many vegetables or are formed when food is heated. In addition, pyrazines also play a role as signaling substances in intra- or interspecific communication.
His team, including authors Tingwei Mi, John Mack, and Christopher Lee from the Monell Center and University of Pennsylvania, found that flies use two distinct types of gustatory (taste) receptor neurons (GRNs), which are analogous to taste receptor cells in mammals, to discriminate slightly from highly sour foods. One group of GRNs are maximally activated by low acidity, while the other group displayed its best responses to high acidity.