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News From the Field

Penn team elucidates evolution of bitter taste sensitivity


November 11, 2013

Yaaku people perform a taste test People often have strong negative reactions to bitter substances, which, though found in healthful foods like vegetables, can also signify toxicity. For this reason, the ability to sense bitterness likely played an important role in human evolution. A new study by University of Pennsylvania scientists suggests that a genetic mutation that makes certain people sensitive to the taste of a bitter compound appears to have been advantageous for certain human populations in Africa. Full Story

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University of Pennsylvania

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