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Photo: Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Presented by Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Participation fee $0
Expenses $0
Spend the time indoors
Location 2001 Colorado Blvd., Denver, CO Colorado United States 80205
Appropriate for kids no
Teaching materials yes

Required Gear:

This opportunity is onsite at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science and therefore the Lab provides all necessary equipment and training.

Genetics of Taste Lab

Determine if fatty acids are the 6th Taste.
Enroll participants, prepare DNA and analyze taste genes.

Welcome to a world where very small changes in a person's DNA can have a huge impact on how they perceive taste.

The community-based Genetics of Taste Lab at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science is now home to a new and groundbreaking population study! Findings from the study will contribute new insights into the possibility that there are more than just the five known tastes of sweet, sour, salty, umami (savory), and bitter. The focus for this study will be to learn more about people’s ability to taste fatty acids.

Assuming people can detect the taste of fatty acids, how does it happen? Research suggests that humans can detect the taste of fatty acids, but how this occurs is not known. To look into this question, the Genetics of Taste Lab is conducting a new research study for public participation. Using an omega-6 essential fatty acid (linoleic acid), the Lab is examining both genetic and environmental factors that might contribute to the ability to taste this important nutrient.

The Genetics of Taste Lab is a unique venue for both research study participation and citizen science, connecting the community to real scientific research. • Make scientific research accessible and relevant to people’s everyday lives. • Actively generate and publish new knowledge to contribute to the field of genetics and human health.

This research study is being conducted FOR the community and BY the community. Our scientific team includes citizen scientists, undergraduate interns, and Teen Science Scholars.

This two-year study is led by Nicole Garneau PhD and Richard Mattes PhD and made possible by a partnership between the Health Science and Visitor Programs Departments at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science and the Nutrition Science Department at Purdue University.

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