Medicine: Tortured Tastes

What tastes like ambrosia to one man, observed the ancients, may sit like ashes on the tongue of another. Now modern medicine has discovered that a single tongue can be just as unpredictable —if its unfortunate owner suffers from idiopathic hypogeusia.* The newly identified ailment, described by National Institutes of Health researchers in the Journal of the American Medical Association, attacks the senses of taste and smell to the point that the patients may become unable to detect all but the strongest flavors or aromas. In severe cases, a victim's favorite food odors may become offensive to him.

The NIH team became...

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