News of the WeekNeurobiology

A Discriminating Taste for Bitter

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Science  23 Feb 2001:
Vol. 291, Issue 5508, pp. 1465-1466
DOI: 10.1126/science.291.5508.1465a

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A new study suggests that our taste cells are much better at distinguishing between bitter flavors than some researchers have thought. On page 1557, biologists report that--contrary to one popular theory--taste buds recognize the many unique bitter flavors that land on your tongue. Your mouth, they say, knows the bitter of beer from a bitter pill any day.