Since its discovery in 1932, PTC paper has been a popular activity for students studying genetics. It is used to determine the genotypes of individuals, and is bitter tasting. It has been tied to the evolutionary advantage allowing some primates to detect toxins in a potential food. Foods containing PTC like substances may be avoided by tasters (broccoli, water cress).
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New study in mice sheds light on how animals stay hydrated
Viewed under a microscope, your tongue is an alien landscape, studded by fringed and bumpy buds that sense five basic tastes: salty, sour, sweet, bitter, and umami. But mammalian taste buds may have an additional sixth sense—for water, a new study suggests. The finding could help explain how animals can tell water from other fluids, and it adds new fodder to a centuries-old debate: Does water have a taste of its own, or is it a mere vehicle for other flavors?
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Source: Scientists discover a sixth sense on the tongue—for water | Science | AAAS