Studying the genetic diversity of African populations may offer answers to how our sense of taste evolved and may be intertwined with other important functions such as metabolism and immunity, say researchers. The new research provides evidence underlining the significance of bitter taste perception, and suggests that a genetic mutation which makes certain people sensitive to the taste of a bitter compound appears to have been advantageous for certain human populations in Africa…"The taste testing shows that the mutations in TAS2R16 had functional significance for the bitter taste perception system," explained Paul Breslin of Rutgers University and Monell Chemical Senses Center – who also worked on the study. "In this case, the mutation caused a gain of taste function."
/ / / A bad taste in your mouth? Researchers investigate the evolution of bitter taste sensitivity