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Latest Emily Liman Stories

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2010-11-24 08:55:00

In a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, USC College's Emily Liman reveals what is behind all the puckering -- how people perceive sour flavors This Thanksgiving, when you bite into the cranberry sauce and the tartness smacks your tongue as hard as that snide comment from your sister, consider the power of sour. Neurobiology researchers at the University of Southern California have made a surprising discovery about how some cells respond to sour tastes. Of...

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2010-09-29 09:25:00

Fizzy beverages light up same pain sensors as mustard and horseradish, a new study shows -- so why do we drink them? You may not think of the fizz in soda as spicy, but your body does. The carbon dioxide in fizzy drinks sets off the same pain sensors in the nasal cavity as mustard and horseradish, though at a lower intensity, according to new research from the University of Southern California. "Carbonation evokes two distinct sensations. It makes things sour and it also makes them burn. We...


Word of the Day
humgruffin
  • A terrible or repulsive person.
Regarding the etymology of 'humgruffin,' the OED says (rather unhelpfully) that it's a 'made-up word.' We might guess that 'hum' comes from 'humbug' or possibly 'hum' meaning 'a disagreeable smell,' while 'gruffin' could be a combination of 'gruff' and 'griffin.'