Taste Buds!

I designed and constructed an electronic circuit and related display to illustrate the difference between those who are Phenylthiocarbamide (PTC) tasters and those who are not.  Simply put, those who readily taste PTC (a molecule responsible for bitterness) require the activation of only one receptor to experience bitterness, while those who are not PTC tasters require the activation of several receptors.  The program manager of the Human Body Connection decided on the straight-forward approach of having a display with two “taste buds” –  one representing a PTC taster, the other representing a PTC non-taster.  These are the clear plastic domes seen in the photo.  Each taste bud has four receptors in the form of a ring attached to the dome.  The interactive display is activated by a PTC “molecule” carried by the staff.
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