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12 December 2013 1:00 pm ,
Vol. 342 ,
The iconic 125-year-old Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton near San Jose, California, is facing the threat of closure...
Recent results from the Curiosity Mars rover have helped scientists formulate a plan for the next phase of its mission...
A new, remarkably powerful drug that cripples the hepatitis C virus (HCV) came to market last week, but it sells for $...
In pretoothbrush populations, gumlines would often be marred by a thick, visible crust of calcium phosphate, food...
Evolutionary biologists have long studied how the Mexican tetra, a drab fish that lives in rivers and creeks but has...
Victorian astronomers spent countless hours laboriously charting the positions of stars in the sky. Such sky mapping,...
In an ambitious project to study 1000 years of sickness and health, researchers are excavating the graveyard of the now...
Stefan Behnisch has won awards for designing science labs and other buildings that are smart, sustainable, and...
- 12 December 2013 1:00 pm , Vol. 342 , #6164
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ScienceShot: Odor Exposure in the Womb Primes the Palate
30 November 2010 7:01 pm
Moms, want your children to eat their greens? Then you have to eat them, too, at least while you're pregnant. Researchers have found that offspring of mouse mothers fed a diet enhanced with cherry and mint flavors during pregnancy continued to prefer these flavors into adulthood, while mice from mothers fed on a bland diet had no food preference. The rodents with a penchant for mint-cherry food developed larger glomeruli, the region of the brain responsible for processing odor—the first evidence that exposure to odors in the womb alters the way the brain develops. From the fetus' point of view, this is a good evolutionary strategy; eat the foods that your mother ate because they are probably safe. It is likely that all mammals, including humans, develop their sense of taste in this same way, the researchers report online today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, so expectant moms, be careful the next time you have a hankering for anchovies with chocolate sauce.
See more ScienceShots.