Full-body Taste

Turns out that the tongue isn’t the only place where the body can taste what you ate

By Douglas Fox, 22:05 PM March 23, 2011

Small tastersPictured are three taste buds on the tongue of a mouse. Each one is half as wide as a grain of salt. Taste cells, which appear here as red and green, bunch together to form the taste buds. The red cells taste sour things. It’s not clear yet what the green cells taste. Courtesy of Thomas Finger

It was an exciting day when Thomas Finger looked inside the nose of a small black mouse. Finger had borrowed the animal from another scientist. It was not your average mouse.

The mouse's genes had been changed so that the taste buds on its tongue turned green when you shined light on them — like a secret message written in secret ink.

But no one had ever looked inside its nose. When Finger finally did look there with a microscope, he saw thousands of green cells dotting the soft pink lin...

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