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Science for Kids/Taste Buds and Tasting

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Question
I would like to know how the tongue works. I have a science fair coming up at school an I don't really know what to do please help me. sincerly Andrea

Answer
Hi Andrea,

The toung is just a muscle but over top of the muscle there is a thin layer which contains the taste buds.  The taste buds work with the Olfactory bulb in the nose to help you smell and taste.  With out the olfactory bulb most things would taste rather dull.  It is in combination that it allows us to really get the sense of a flavor.  

But if you want to do an interesting test, then your can look for "super tasters".  This is a genetic subset of people who have "extraordinary" tasting ability.  For instance, they can taste the bitterness of ear wax and the nasty aftertaste of artificial sweetners.  So, do some research on the internet about "super tasters" and what they can taste that the rest of us can't.  Then you can test your classmates to see which ones are super tasters.  

Of course work with your teacher to get all of the proper permissions and other paper work before doing any human testing.  This is very important.

ralph

Science for Kids

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Ralph Salier-Hellendag

Expertise

Science Fair Judge for many years and experience with robotics, biology, chemistry, industrial processes, metalurgy and metal forming.

Experience

Science Fair Judge for many years and have helped several students get to state level competition. Most recently 2 of my students received state level awards and one went on to the nationals in Washington DC.

Education/Credentials
BA Archaeology - Anthropology
MA Business Anthropology

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