By Bridget Coughlin, PhD
Well I did it-the thing we ask visitors daily if they did as a
way to screen their taste data. Did you burn your tongue
recently? Yesterday the Museum catering team made incredible
(and incredibly hot) tomato bisque. In a rush, I plunged in
my spoon and slurped -- ouch. You would think someone slightly
obsessed with tasting and food flavor would be more careful!
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Even today my tongue feels funny -- the cells scalded and dead
from the soup's heat. It takes a few days for these cells to
get exfoliated off and replaced by stems cells that have
differentiated and replaced the old ones. In the mean time I
can't taste food as well. And lunch today, a Chipotle chicken
burrito, was a bit flat flavor wise.
In the lab we ask visitors if they have burnt their tongue
recently so that we will know if they might be under reporting the
taste sensation when we give them the taste tests.
Ok, off to doing more work and get a cup of not too hot coffee.
Thanks all for the well wishes on my tongue cell repair!