Our taste buds are the subject of some pretty serious science at Duke University. They've discovered the gene that is responsible for telling the tongue what is sour, salty or bitter. The gene is called SOX-2.
So, who cares about that? Turns out that same gene plays a more important role than deciding taste, it also helps stem cells choose their role in the body.
"Cells that don't have right levels of SOX-2 can't make the right choices,"said Brigid Hogan, a taste bud researcher at Duke University.
So that is important research to know that the taste bud gene also plays a big role in the development of nerve cells in the brain, eye and inner ear and that's also why taste bud research is now getting support from the National Institutes of Health.
The research is published in the October 2006 issue of the Journal Genes and Development. The work was supported by the National Institutes of Health.