7 Stories

The Mice Have Spoken: Taste Is an Illusion

Scientists turn sense of taste on and off by manipulating brain cells: study

(Newser) - That bitter tincture a bunch of mice in a Columbia University lab recently gagged on could have been sweet nectar, or even just plain water. Why they took issue with the taste: For a study published in the journal Nature , scientists fiddled with their brain cells to make them think... More »

Scientists Create Artificial Skin That Mimics Human Touch

It could be big news for people with prosthetic limbs

(Newser) - Pretty soon, you won't be able to hide your limp handshake from someone with a prosthetic arm. At least that's the hope of the team of researchers at Stanford University who developed artificial skin that can sense touch. Engadget describes the team's invention—published Thursday in Science... More »

Lab Rats Acquire 'Sixth Sense'

Paging Bruce Willis?

(Newser) - A group of lab rats at North Carolina's Duke University has acquired an enviable ability: a "sixth sense." Scientists say they found a way to enable the rats to detect infrared light that would otherwise go unseen. The Verge explains the mechanics of the feat, which involved... More »

Human Eye May Have Magnetic '6th Sense'

Light-sensitive human protein acts as 'compass' when present in flies

(Newser) - The human eye may be an even more amazing thing than we realize, capable of acting as a compass by sensing the Earth's magnetic field, new research suggests. Cryptochrome, a protein believed to give animals like migratory birds and sea turtles their ability to navigate, is present in the... More »

Not Sweet, nor Salty: 'Umami'

Chefs and Campbell's alike seek coveted, satisfying 'fifth taste'

(Newser) - Humans crave not only salt and sugar, but also a savory, satisfying flavor known as “umami,” the Japanese term for “deliciousness,” the Wall Street Journal reports. Umami (“oo-MA-mee”) describes the taste of stick-to-your-ribs dishes such as chicken soup or Caesar salad with Parmesan cheese... More »

Time For Business to Listen Up

Tuning into sound yields surprising results in productivity and sales

(Newser) - Companies that aren't tuning in to the business implications of sound are missing a beat, the Economist writes. And there are a lot of them. Sound affects everything from office productivity (noisy open-floor plans diminish it) to how much customers buy (slow music makes people linger longer). More »

Scented Sleep Boosts Memory in the Morning

(Newser) - Add a little scent to your evening and your sleep, and your memory works better in the morning. A recent study showed that the smell of roses, administered while participants played a computer game, and then while they slept, improved their rate of recall after they woke by 13... More »

7 Stories