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New findings in taste and smell

Smell and taste play essential roles in our daily lives. The chemical senses serve as important warning systems, alerting us to the presence of potentially harmful situations or substances, including gas leaks, smoke, and spoiled food. Flavors and fragrances are also important in determining what foods we eat and the commercial products we use. The pleasures derived from eating are mainly based on the chemical senses. Thousands of Americans experience loss of smell or taste each year resulting from head trauma, sinus disease, normal aging and neurological disorders, such as brain injury, stroke and Alzheimer's disease. By providing a better understanding of the function of chemosensory systems, scientific and biomedical research is leading to improvements in the diagnoses and treatment of smell and taste disorders.

Among those contributing to advancements are members of the Association for Chemoreception Sciences (AChemS), which is holding its 31st annual meeting in Sarasota, FL, April 22-26, 2009. In Sarasota, scientists are presenting their latest research findings on topics ranging from molecular biology to the clinical diagnosis and treatment of smell and taste disorders. The 2009 meeting is featuring presentations of new research findings, special symposia, and workshops (for details see sponsored by AChemS, corporations, and the National Institutes of Health.

Highlighted topics include:

  • Thermal taste: association with perception of oral sensations and food and beverage behavior
  • Plasticity in expression of chemoreceptor genes in Drosophila melanogaster
  • Recognizing Taste Stimuli below the Detection Threshold
  • Differentiation and migration of neurons derived from the olfactory placode
  • Odor discrimination in mouse models of schizophrenia
  • Taste responsive multipolar and elongated neurons in hamster nucleus of the solitary tract (NST) project differentially to targets in the brainstem: an in-vivo intracellular recording, labeling, and tracing study
  • Pregnancy and olfactory sensitivity
  • Expansion, engraftment and multi-lineage potency of mouse neonatal olfactory neurospheres
  • Evidence for a chemosignal in human tears
  • β1,3-N-Acetylglucosaminyltransferase 1 (β3GnT1) regulates signaling in olfactory neurons
  • CNGA2 heterozygous mice with a knockout TRPM5 show fewer glomeruli targeted by OSNs with nonfunctional CNGA2
  • Copy-number variation map obtained by high-resolution genomics reflects human olfactory receptor diversity and evolution
  • Wnt/-catenin signaling controls taste bud regeneration in mice
  • Sensory adaptation in the vomeronasal organ
  • Emx2 stimulates odorant receptor gene expression and controls OSN axon growth
  • Hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated channels in olfactory sensory neurons mediate axon targeting and glomerular formation
  • Investigations of olfactory receptor internalizations


Contact: Charles J. Wysocki
Association for Chemoreception Sciences

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