Recent Scientific News Releases
A new study from Monell and the QIMR Berghofer Research Institute suggests that a single set of genes accounts for approximately 30 percent of person-to-person variance in sweet taste perception, regardless of whether the sweetener is a natural sugar or a non-caloric sugar substitute.
Tumor necrosis factor (TNF), an immune system regulatory protein that promotes inflammation, also helps regulate sensitivity to bitter taste. The finding may provide a mechanism to explain the taste system abnormalities and decreased food intake that can be associated with infections, autoimmune disorders, and chronic inflammatory diseases.
Monell Center scientist Kai Zhao, PhD, is principal investigator on a $1.5M 4-year NIH grant to further develop clinical methodology that can predict the path of air flow through a person’s nasal passages. The methodology may someday help physicians evaluate treatment outcomes for patients undergoing surgery to reverse nasal obstruction and associated loss of smell (anosmia).
Cognitive expectations about odor safety related to airway inflammation. New research findings highlight the role that expectations can play in health-related outcomes.
According to new research from the Monell Center, receptors for stress-activated hormones have been localized in oral taste cells responsible for detection of sweet, umami, and bitter. The findings suggest that these hormones, known as glucocorticoids, may act directly on taste receptor cells under conditions of stress to affect how these cells respond to sugars and certain other taste stimuli.
Leslie J. Stein, Ph.D.
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