The language have found a “sixth sense”
American and German biologists have identified a sixth taste that can distinguish between mammals.
About his discovery and what constitutes a “new” flavor, they reported in the journal Nature Neuroscience.
Currently scientists distinguish five tastes: sweet, salty, bitter, sour and umami (taste of protein). In the new study, scientists have named another — the feeling of water. According to them, this study will help to understand how animals distinguish water from other liquids, but also answers the question that interested the people from antiquity: does water own taste or just tolerate the taste of other substances.
Insects and amphibians are water-sensitive nerve cells. Different researchers reported that they found the same in mammals. Several studies of human brain show that some areas react to the water.
In the latest study, the researchers “disabled” notauth mice (i.e. mice, some genes which artificially “disabled”) different types of taste buds, after which they rinsed their mouth with water, seeing how cells react.
It was found that water responds the same receptors that sour. The mouse from which they were disabled, spent more time to distinguish between water and tasteless silicone fluid.
After this study the authors tried to artificially activate receptors methods of optogenetics. They took mice with light-sensitive proteins in acid-sensitive receptor, causing these cells respond to laser light of a specific wavelength, causing a sensation similar to the taste of water. The result is thirsty animals licked the optical fiber, to create the illusion of liquid.