Scientists develop ‘electronic tongue’ to rival sommeliers in wine tasting

wine tasting

The ‘electronic tongue’ may have a commercial use and could eventually replace the teams of experts needed in each bodega.

Spanish scientists have developed an “electronic tongue” that promises to rival the work of the traditional sommelier and identify different grades of the Spanish sparkling wine, cava. The electronic device has been developed by the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB) and uses electronic sensory systems with “advanced mathematical procedures” to analyse different varieties of the Catalan alternative to champagne according to taste.

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Action Packed Video Games Boosts Ability to Concentrate in a Crisis

call of duty

A scene from Call of Duty.

Action packed video games are often criticised for being distracting and encouraging violent behavior.  However, a review published this month has found that people who play ‘shoot ’em ups’ such as Halo and Call of Duty have far better visual attention than their non-gaming peers.

 

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Why Does Mint Make Your Mouth Feel Cold?

mint_lump_candy 3412
Mint is a chilling herb and flavor
When you chew a piece of mint gum and then take a drink, the drink seems colder than it would otherwise. It’s not colder, that’s an illusion from your brain and a protein called TRPM8.

TRPM8 doesn’t just respond to cold temperatures, though. It also activates in the presence of menthol, a waxy, crystalline organic compound found in peppermint and other mint oils. (It responds to other “cooling agents,” too, like eucalyptol and icilin. Why, exactly, is unknown; menthol just happens to fit the cellular “lock.”)

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Are Optical Illusions Caused By The Brain Or The Eye?

Are Optical Illusions Caused By The Brain Or The Eye?

 (Left) Isia Leviant’s Enigma. Most viewers say the purple rings appear to fill with rapid illusory motion. (Right) A simplified version that the researchers used in the study. Most viewers report illusory motion lengthwise along the gray stripe.

When viewing the famous optical illusion painting Enigma by Isia Leviant, many people claim to see motion within the colored circles moving against the black and white striped background. Although this optical illusion has been known for a long time, its physiological origins are still unknown.

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Hand Transplant Patient Shows Signs Of Sensory Recovery

Hand Transplant Patient Shows Signs Of Sensory Recovery 

Activation of the left cerebral hemisphere during sensory stimulation of the transplanted right palm.  

Four months after a successful hand transplant — 35 years after amputation in an industrial accident at age 19 — a 54-year-old man’s emerging sense of touch is registered in the former “hand area” of the his brain, says a University of Oregon neuroscientist.

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Prosthetics That Feel

Prosthetics That Feel 

If you thought prosthetics couldn’t let you “feel” anything but only assist you in the most basic functions, think again. Surgeons have tried a unique method with Claudia Mitchell and have hot-wired the prosthetic to her brain via her shoulder nerves.

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Mirrors Don’t Lie, But Do They Mislead

Mirrors Don’t Lie, But Do They Mislead

For the bubbleheaded young Narcissus of myth, the mirror spun a fatal fantasy, and the beautiful boy chose to die by the side of a reflecting pond rather than leave his “beloved” behind. For the aging narcissist of Shakespeare’s 62nd sonnet, the mirror delivered a much-needed whack to his vanity, the sight of a face “beated and chopp’d with tann’d antiquity” underscoring the limits of self-love.

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