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Researchers enjoy bitter taste of success

Taste has been the most elusive of the five senses. Now, genetic work is revealing how taste buds handle the chemical information that washes over them.

Scientists from NIH and the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) describe these findings in the March 17 Cell. The report comes soon after the first identification of a functioning taste receptor. It detects umami—the meaty flavor of monosodium glutamate and parmesan cheese (SN: 1/29/00, p. 68: Available to subscribers at Meaty receptor helps tongue savor flavor).

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