Packing on pounds seems to dull people’s sense of taste, and researchers turned to mice to figure out why: Obesity, they found, can rob the tongue of taste buds. If the findings pan out, “this could be a whole new kind of target in treating obesity,” said Cornell University food scientist Robin Dando. Diet, exercise and genetics are among many factors that play a role in obesity. But taste preferences influence dietary choices, and some studies have suggested that obese people often taste flavors with less intensity than lean people.

Sniffing alcohol pad may ease nausea

Sniffing an alcohol pad may be a good cure for nausea. Almost 5 million people go to U.S. emergency rooms annually for severe nausea and vomiting, and it is commonly treated with ondansetron (Zofran), a drug used to control the nausea of chemotherapy.

Sniffing isopropyl alcohol can also help control chemotherapy nausea, but until now it has not been tested against Zofran for ER patients. The average decrease a half-hour after treatment was 30 millimeters (with 100 being the worst for severity) for those who smelled alcohol and took Zofran, 32 for alcohol and a placebo, and 9 for those who took Zofran and sniffed a placebo.

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