15th May, 2013
Department take part in Otago Peninsula Challenge
The Department of Physiology was out in force at the Otago Peninsula Challenge on Sunday, 12th May 2013.
12th February, 2013
Physiology staff recognised at OSMS Awards
Congratulations to Associate Professor Grant Butt and Mrs Dianne Galvin who received awards at the Otago School of Medical Sciences (OSMS) Awards 2012 ceremony on Thursday 7th February.
10th December, 2012
Masters student awarded prize for presentation at meeting
Congratulations to Aye Thaung, MSc student (supervisors Drs Regis Lamberts & Daryl Schwenke) from the Department of Physiology.
26th October, 2012
Physiology Professor gains 3-year Marsden grant
Congratulations to Professor Allan Herbison, Department of Physiology, who has been awarded a 3-year $950,000 grant from the Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden Fund.
28th September, 2012
Otago Medical School Research Society (OMSRS) PhD & MD Student Speaker Awards
At the OMSRS meeting on 26th September, 10 students from the University of Otago were selected to present their research.
27th May, 2013
Departmental Seminar: Su Han (PhD final presentation)
Associate Professor Phil Sheard
You must have noticed how warm ice cream tastes much sweeter than cold, you notice this even when you lick the runny bits on a hot day. If you haven't noticed this, design a simple experiment to test it for yourself. How sweet a food or drink tastes is often a function of how much sugar it contains, but warm ice cream has the same amount of sugar as cold so why does it taste sweeter?
Our basic taste sensations (like sweet and sour) derive from the activity of taste cells that live in the taste buds in our mouth. Sweet-sensing taste cells have a temperature-dependent response, this means that the warmer the taste substance is, the more it excites them. In this case, sweet stimulates the taste cell to allow calcium into the cell, and this in turn initiates a process whereby a signal is sent to the brain and the taste is perceived. The presence of a temperature-sensitive calcium channel (called (TRPM5) in our sweet-sensitive taste cells means that a given sweetness will result in a bigger response when the substance is warm than when it is cold. You can think of it as a little biological signal amplifier that gets turned up by warm, and turned down by cold. How cool is that?
I really see no harm which can come of giving our children a little knowledge of physiology.