In a recent study, the taste buds of mice were tested. Scientists wanted to see if the taste buds of mice can detect flavors. It turns out that mice have supersensing cells in their taste buds. These cells can detect four out of the five established flavors that human taste buds recognize—sour, sweet, bitter, and even umami.
The team of neurophysiologists turned off the sensing capabilities of specific taste cells in the mice. They were surprised when the other cells started to respond to the flavors. The study revealed that a group of cells that can sense several chemical compounds were activated. Researchers also discovered that the absence of a key protein blocked the brain from receiving the bitter signals.
This study may help those who have diminishing taste regain their ability to taste again. Taste is vital in one’s survival. It helps you appreciate what you’re eating and even enhance your appetite. The ability to taste also keeps you from eating something poisonous or rotten.
The taste bud study in mice may someday lead to the engineering of taste buds in the future.