Researchers have developed an electronic tongue. (Don't start.) The device is something like a litmus test for taste that, according to chemists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is incredibly accurate at measuring sweet things. The system consists of a paper dotted with an array of color-changing gels that react to a variety of different sweeteners. The electronic device scans the color of the dots after the paper is exposed to a sample. The combination of the gels' reactions, represented by their color, reveals the "taste." There are already chemical or electronic methods to test for other flavors detected by human tongues: saltiness, sourness, and savoriness. From National Geographic:
Sourness is just another word for acidity, Suslick said, which any high school chemistry student can test for using litmus paper.
"Electronic Tongue" Mimics Human Taste Organ
Savoriness - also called "umami" - and saltiness can already be measured by handheld devices sensitive to protein levels and sodium and potassium ions.
The final dimension of taste that remains to be cracked is bitterness, which is still somewhat of an unknown.
"We lump a whole bunch of things into that one word," said (UIUC professor Kenneth) Suslick, whose study appeared August 1 in the journal Analytical Chemistry. "It just isn't clear yet what the bitterness receptors [in the tongue] are and what they respond to."
Periodic Stats is a dead-easy web-based Periodic Table to click around, showing all the stats and the history of each element. The only thing missing are illustrations of each one! [via Reddit]
To demonstrate the Magnus effect, YouTuber PeterSripol grabbed a couple of KFC buckets and tricked out an RC plane. The resulting trial and error is mostly the latter.
One of the weirdest places in Antarctica is Blood Falls, a five-story cascade of blood-red liquid pouring from Taylor Glacier. Researchers finally traced its source: a saltwater lake millions of years old trapped under the glacier.
Bamboo has lots of uses beyond just being panda food. Things like bikes, roads, scaffolding, and musical instruments are made from the fast-growing grass. But unless you are participating in a tropical-themed LARP, you probably wouldn’t want a shirt made from bamboo stalks. So why do bamboo bed sheets make any sense? Because yarn extracted from […]
If you want to work in tech, but don’t have any desire to code web apps to help businesses sell things to other business, you might want to consider a career in cybersecurity. Judging from the apparent complete infiltration of Russian hackers in American cyberspace, it seems fair to speculate that there’s a major shortage of […]
All moms are different. But all moms like getting flowers on Mother’s Day, and that’s a fact (not, however a fact we can document in any fashion.) Instead of getting chewed out for forgetting to call her on the second Sunday of May, you can take care of it ahead of time with Teleflora’s flower […]