stariceling (stariceling) wrote,

Wait, is this graduate school or primary school?

Today in Neurobiology the teacher brings up a tongue map. A. Tongue. Map. In a graduate-level biology course. Where the teacher knew enough about current research to bring up umami, which maybe four years ago I was finding an equal numbers of scientific research saying the receptors were a thing and others claiming that it was all hogwash to excuse the widespread use of MSG and was only "tasted" by affecting cell function at dangerously high concentrations. The tongue map was debunked nearly forty years ago.

I sent the professor some papers on the subject, since I have already had this argument with a professor and two TAs and none of them were actually willing to listen without proof.

UPDATE: Awesome! My professor emailed me back, going "well of course it's an oversimplification, yes. Here's some other interesting research on the subject!" I feel better now.

For those who don't know because your teachers lied to you: Every part of your tongue can taste all five tastes (sweet, sour, bitter, salty, umami/savory). Each area has a different sensitivity to different tastes, but that doesn't mean it doesn't detect and respond to others. Oh, and you can find papers with people still arguing about the relative sensitivities of different areas, probably not helped by the sheer differences in taste sensitivity between individuals (supertasters are a thing, they physically have many times more actual taste buds than normal). Also, you have taste buds in other parts of your mouth, such as your soft palate (the squishy back part of the roof of your mouth), which seem to be more sensitive to bitter compounds. (EDIT: The soft palate ones specifically. There are others in the back of the throat, etc. which I don't know their relative sensitivities.)

So now you know more than many biology students! Because I'm pretty sure that fucking ignorant lie oversimplification is still in university-level anatomy textbooks.

And while we're at it:
  • Yes, science understands the mechanics of bumblebee flight perfectly well. (Seriously, there was even a Mythbusters episode on this. No one has an excuse anymore.)
  • Most mammals (with the exception of some primates, like us) are dichromats, meaning they have two types of cones. Think red-green colorblindness in humans (normally trichromats). That means your "colorblind" dog or rat can distinguish some colors, just not the same ones you do. And bulls can't actually distinguish red as we know it. (Aquatic mammals, on the other hand, are monochromats and truly colorblind.)
  • Hair and nails do not grow after death. Stop quoting this, people. The skin can contract as it dries which makes it appear to grow, but no actual tissue is added. Because you are DEAD.
  • GLASS IS NOT A LIQUID AT ROOM TEMPERATURE. (Why do I keep running into this in fantasy novels? Whywhywhy *cries*)
  • Any statistic about how many spiders you eat in your sleep is bullshit.

    I'm going to stop before I go off on a rant forever.

    I just... seriously? In a graduate level class? Seriously?

    EDIT: Okay, at least my professor actually knows this.
    And as to my incoherent rage-sputtering: These are just some things I've run into in the last few weeks. But yeah, serious pet peeves.

    And I never even got around to the sheer idiocy I keep running across trying to gather information for my research proposal. IF YOU REFER TO TREATED WASTEWATER AS "SEWAGE" YOU DESERVE TO HAVE YOUR PANTS STUFFED WITH LIVE WEASELS. HUNGRY ONES.

    ... I have very strong opinions about some things. I'm not sure what it says about me that most of them would have me trying to shove research papers down your throat or beat you about the head with a textbook.

    *deep breath* Okay, back to the research proposal now. No more screaming for today.
  • Tags: rant, topic of the day
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