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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Calda e' / fredda e' / differenza c'e'.

Remember Ranma 1/2? During my university year it was one of my favorite comic books. here's the italian version of the anime opening theme.

So, why is this post tagged as science? Well, cause I was listening to Nature Podcast from 07/06/07 and heard that some scientist elucidated the reason why menthol tastes 'cold'. Long story short, it (presumably binds and) activates a Na/Ca ion channel, present in our tongue but also in other sensory terminations (see menthol shower-gels), which is normally active only at temperatures below 28 degrees. Hence, the 'cold' sensation. Cool, ain't it?

Why Ranma as title holder? well, cause for this character those termination were pretty important, since a bucket of cold water would transform him into a her (just like the song says). Now imagine if he had known this. May be now we would be able to cure his/her curse?

PS: the title says: Is it warm? Is it cold? It makes a difference! (from the italian theme song)

PPS: Incidentally, I've also worked on ion channels, during my previous year (expressed in the heart, though, not in the tongue) and will present my in silico models at Lille, France, this first week of july. See you there may be ;-)

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