New research shows scientists have maintained living taste cells in a lab for at least 7 months. This is the first big step in better understanding human taste, both in health and disease. Oral cancer patients who undergo chemotherapy or radiation therapy often lose their sense of taste. Imagine the impact of no taste. These patients can lose interest in food and become malnourished rather quickly.
Research on these taste cells in the lab will allow new developments in restoring taste function or preventing its loss. The cells might also allow researchers to test new molecules that might either replace or enhance salt. The possibilities are endless. I have been informed by my wife, however, that my “sense of taste” when it comes to fashion will be utterly helpless with this new research.