The tongue, besides being creepy, offers plenty in the way of research opportunities, as you know if you're a regular visitor to this space. In the past we've seen a tongue-based computer interface
or two, the BrainPort
sight-via-papillae solution, and this week, at the American Chemical Society's annual meeting, researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign introduced a sensor about the size of a business card that detects and identifies fourteen common sweeteners -- including Splenda, Sugar in the Raw, and Sweet'n'Low. The product of a decade of research in colorimetric sensor arrays, it works when dipped into the substance, and takes about two minutes to get results. The team, led by a Professor Suslick (really!), hopes that this leads to a low-cost solution for anyone who needs to monitor their blood glucose levels, and eventually a way to monitor contaminants in food or in the environment at large. We recommend using with D+caf caffeine testing
strips to ensure that you get nothing out of your morning coffee whatsoever.