New work published in Quarterly review of biology, entitled “Taste and Smell: Unifying Chemosensory Theory”, proposes the unification of all chemosensory modalities in a single sense, moving towards an interconnected perspective of gradual processes by which a wide range of chemicals are converted into signals crucial to communication . among and within cells, organs and organisms in a wide variety of environmental conditions. Thus, the article provides a break with what appears to be one of the most deeply rooted confirmations of failures in the scientific literature: the differentiation between taste (taste) and smell (smell).

Authors Ernest Mol, Ferdinand Boer, Josep Penuelas, Angela Fontana, Mary J. Garson, Vasilias Russis, Carlo Serrano, Gianluca Polesie, Alberto Maria Cattanea, and Vaud Mudianto, Gregory Ghent-Juve, Aracio Tagliatello-Appina-Skafend, and Michael T. Giselin offer a wealth of evidence that does not harmonize with the nuances. , suggesting that the spatial, molecular, anatomical, and neurophysiological criteria commonly adopted to separate the “a priori” two chemical senses are contradictory and overly anthropomorphic.

“We argue that anthropomorphic biases have contributed to ignoring key processes that shape environmental and evolutionary scenarios, thus severely hampering our research efforts to better understand the evolution of chemosensation, especially during the transition from both aquatic to terrestrial life and from unicellular office multicellular organisms“,” they write. Most importantly, the authors believe that the intellectual habit of differentiating two sensory modalities contributed to a biased model of thinking in the design and interpretation of experiments, in the classification of chemosensory genes and receptors, and in morphological and zoological nomenclature. -smell goes pretty well with human conditionthe authors argue that biologists should strictly include information from the study of the diversity of living organisms and their environmental interactions in approaching the complex topic of the evolution of chemical bonding and especially in the development of experimental protocols.

Thus, the authors propose to combine all chemosensory modalities within a comprehensive theoretical structure that opposes the current nomenclature. Our vision is that in nature there is no taste, no smell, no hemostasis, no vomerolfaction, but there is a huge and vague variety of chemical bonds, which together can be called “chemosensation”, which always begins with interactions between ligands and receptors , two chemical entities that occur in a huge structural diversity in nature, ”they write.

“It’s time to abandon the differentiation between chemical feelings and start asking the best questions about the complex, subtle and interconnected ways in which a wide variety of chemicals have become a signal that is extremely important for survival, ”the authors write.

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Additional information:
Ernest Molla et al., Taste and Smell: Unifying Chemosensory Theory, Quarterly review of biology (2022). DOI: 10.1086 / 720097

Citation: Should all chemosensory modalities be combined in one sense? (May 20, 2022) Retrieved May 20, 2022, from

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