Recent Scientific News Releases
The Monell Center announced today that it has received a $345,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The grant supports an innovative global health research project titled, “Developing Novel Pediatric Formulation Technologies for Global Health: Human Taste Assays.”
New Monell research finds that oral perceptions of coldness and carbonation help to reduce thirst, the uncomfortable sensation caused by the need to drink fluids. Because thirst and its cessation contribute to how much fluid a person drinks, the current findings could help guide sensory approaches to increase fluid intake in populations at risk for dehydration, including the elderly, soldiers, and athletes.
According to new research from the Monell Center and collaborating institutions, the sweet taste cells that respond to sugars and sweeteners on the tongue also contain digestive enzymes capable of converting sucrose (table sugar) into glucose and fructose, simple sugars that can be detected by both known sweet taste pathways. The findings increase understanding of the complex cellular mechanisms underlying sweet taste detection.
New research from the Monell Center reveals that olfactory marker protein (OMP), a molecule found in the cells that detect odor molecules, plays a key role in regulating the speed and transmission of odor information to the brain. The findings solve a 30-year-old mystery regarding the function of OMP and increases understanding of how the olfactory system integrates information to transmit accurate data about odors and the messages they contain.
A multidisciplinary team from Monell has further characterized the identity and functionality of salt-responding taste cells on the tongue. The knowledge may lead to novel approaches to develop salt replacers or enhancers that can help reduce the sodium content of food while retaining desirable salty taste.
Leslie J. Stein, Ph.D.
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