Recent Scientific News Releases
A new study from the Monell Center, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and collaborating institutions reports a uniquely identifiable odor signature from mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease. The odor signature appears in urine before significant development of Alzheimer-related brain pathology, suggesting that it may be possible to develop a non-invasive tool for early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.
Everyone knows that children love sweets, but ever wonder why some kids seem to want more sugary food than others? It could be because they need more sugar to get that same sweet taste. According to new Monell research, sensitivity to sweet taste varies widely across school-aged children and is in part genetically-determined. The findings may inform efforts to reduce sugar consumption and improve nutritional health of children.
A Monell study reveals that while foods such as vanilla pudding taste sweeter following three months on a low-sugar diet, the level of sweetness most preferred in foods and beverages does not change. The findings may inform public health efforts to reduce the amount of added sugars that people consume in their diets.
New research from Monell and the University of Pennsylvania suggests that physicians may someday be able to use a simple taste test to predict which surgical intervention is best suited to help a subset of chronic rhinosinusitis patients. Specifically, non-polyp patients more sensitive to the bitter taste of PTC demonstrated greater improvement following surgery. The current findings draw upon the team’s earlier research showing that a receptor that detects bitter taste in the mouth also is found in the upper airways, where it functions to defend against bacterial infection.
According to new research from the Monell Center, cats have at least seven functional bitter taste receptors. Further, a comparison of cat to related species with differing dietary habits reveals that there does not appear to be a strong relationship between the number of bitter receptors and the extent to which a species consumed plants in its diet. The findings question the common hypothesis that bitter taste developed primarily to protect animals from ingesting poisonous plant compounds.
Leslie J. Stein, Ph.D.
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