It has been established that our sense of smell and our sense of taste are closely related. But who knew that it would get more than that? This new study shows that our tongues can somewhat smell, too.
Researchers at the Monell Chemical Senses Center, a nonprofit research institution in Philadelphia, grew human taste cells in a lab. Those cells contained several important molecules already found in olfactory cells, the cells found in the nasal passages that are responsible for sensing smells. And when they exposed the taste cells to odor molecules, the cells responded like olfactory cells do.
"The presence of olfactory receptors and taste receptors in the same cell will provide us with exciting opportunities to study interactions between odor and taste stimuli on the tongue," Mehmet Hakan Ozdener, the senior author of the study, said in a statement.
Aside from the tongue, olfactory sensors have also been found in other parts of the body, such as the hair.
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