A joint international study including researchers from the Australian National University (ANU) Research School of Engineering has observed the process of taste sensation in taste cells for the first time.
The research confirmed, through a laser imaging process called intravital multiphoton microscopy, that each of our 2000-odd taste buds has a number of taste cells, each of which capture and process molecules with different tastes. Even more surprising, the research uncovered interactions between taste cells and the blood vessels surrounding them, suggesting the possibility of one day being able to influence our sense of taste via the bloodstream.
The next step in the process is the attempt to track how these taste signals are transmitted and processed by the brain. A better understanding of this process could one day contribute to the treatment of dietary disorders.
A taste bud showing receptor cells (green) blood cells (red) and collagen surrounding the bud (blue). Credit: S. Lee, S. Yun, M. Choi.
[img source] Australian National University
The above story is based on materials provided by Australian National University