Recent Scientific News Releases
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.
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.
Leslie J. Stein, Ph.D.
Monell scientists serve as expert sources on topics related to taste and smell and also their own fields of specialization. Click here to search for Monell experts by sense, thematic topic or area of interest.