Current tools and methods in taste science
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University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
Dr. Dany Gaillard is an instructor in the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology at the University of Colorado…
The sense of taste is essential to preserve a healthy body and mind. While taste contributes to the selection of beneficial compounds over noxious compounds to ensure proper nutrition and prevent intoxication, it is also involved in the pleasure associated with food intake. However, taste perception can be diminished (partially or fully) or altered by a variety of insults, including cancer treatments, infections, nerve damage and other ailments, which can be detrimental to health. Taste loss is associated with malnutrition, weight loss, depression and social isolation. Therefore, understanding how taste buds develop, how they are maintained, how tastants are detected, how the gustatory signal is transduced and processed in the periphery and the central nervous system, how the body responds to taste stimuli and how taste perception changes is key to establish approaches to prevent or mitigate taste loss and disruption.
Exploration of the taste system has made considerable progress thanks to the use of a broad array of tools that are constantly evolving and embracing cutting-edge technologies. The goal of this JoVE Methods Collection is to document those tools and methods in one location to help taste scientists find the resources they need. Examples of methods to be included can be related to signal transduction, gene expression (from PCR to sequencing), cell/nerve/ganglion isolation and recording, central integration of the gustatory signal, microscopy, development and maintenance of the taste system, taste cell/organoid cultures, in vivo imaging, animal behavior, and psychophysical studies.