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Digital Taste: Coming Soon?

Digital Taste: Coming Soon?

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Taste simulators can help you taste what you see on screen

The Digital Taste Interface allows people to experience the sensations of flavors through electrodes.

Have you ever watched a cooking show on TV and wished that you could taste the food? Well, thanks to technology, that dream might soon become a reality.

Scientists in Singapore have created a simulator called the ‘Digital Taste Interface’ that could recreate taste sensations like salty, sweet, sour and bitter, according to The Telegraph.

The simulator uses electrodes that activate your taste buds, and the Digital Slate Interface uses slight changes in temperature to enhance the tasting.

And, if that were not a dream come true already, the team is also working on creating a digital lollipop that can produce the taste of candy and would not make people gain weight or ruin their teeth using the same types of electrodes.

Dr. Nimesha Ranasinghe from the group in Singapore would like to see these systems used to accompany cooking shows on TV, in computer games, or even sharing meals over the Internet.

This sounds like one of the most revolutionary products of all time!

Doctors Explain What Helps Get Your Taste Back Post-COVID

You had COVID-19, managed to finally rid yourself of the nagging cough — but you still can't taste your favorite spicy noodles, no matter how much hot sauce you use. Losing your sense of taste after COVID-19 is common, and many people find that their taste slowly returns over time. If you're still struggling, though, doctors tell Bustle that some therapies can help get your sense of taste back post-COVID.

"Both taste and smell rely on chemical receptors in the mouth and nose that react with molecules in their environment and then transmit through a complex neural network to the brain," Dr. Kathleen Jordan M.D., a doctor at medical provider Tia Health, tells Bustle. A lot of people, she says, experience problems with these senses when they have a cold, because the inflammation in their nose and throat interferes with taste. "The sense of taste or smell recovers once the inflammation and cold improves, but this effect on smell seems to be more pronounced in COVID-19," she says. A roundup of studies published in Clinical Microbiology & Infection in 2021 found that ageusia, the technical term for loss of taste, occurs in between 30 to 70% of all COVID patients.

So what can you do about it? Number one: wait. In a study of 200 COVID patients published in Clinical Microbiology & Infection in 2021, 73% recovered their sense of taste within six weeks of treatment. If you really hate doing without your ability to savor cookies, though, there are other options.

"Nasal steroid sprays and systemic steroids may be helpful but should be used with the recommendation of a physician," Dr. Omid Mehdizadeh M.D., otolaryngologist at Providence Saint John's Health Center, tells Bustle. Steroids have been shown to help post-viral taste loss for viruses other than COVID-19, but there are no studies yet to show whether they could be helpful specifically for Covid.

Another option is olfactory training. You may have seen people trying to "shock" their sense of taste and smell back by eating burned oranges on TikTok, and there's a kernel of scientific evidence to that trend. "Olfactory training involves repeated and deliberate sniffing of odorants such as lemon, cloves, and eucalyptus," Dr. Jordan says. It's been found to help some people recover their sense of smell over time, but it's not a matter of breaking out your essential oils. Scent training needs to be conducted by a medical professional.

Because taste loss is so common with COVID, doctors tell Bustle, a lot of potential therapies have been suggested. Dr. Jordan says intranasal sodium citrate, a product of citric acid, has shown some promise a study in Clinical Otolaryngology in 2017 found a sodium citrate nasal spray helped some people who'd lost their ability to taste after viruses. Nasal sprays with vitamin A and omega-3 supplements are also being explored. "They may act through neuroregenerative or anti-inflammatory means to help with recovery." Omega-3 fats are notoriously good for brain health and were recommended as a potential treatment for COVID-induced taste loss by the British Medical Journal in 2020. Vitamin A nasal sprays helped post-viral smell and taste loss in a study published in European archives of oto-rhino-laryngology in 2017.

"Our sense of smell, with its contribution to taste and our appreciation of flavor, help us enjoy food and our environment and lead to a sense of well-being and happiness," Dr. Jordan says. She predicts that a lot of research might focus on this symptom and how to cure it. For now, if your taste still refuses to come back, it could be a good plan to talk to your doctor about scent training and nasal sprays.

E3 2021's Digital Show Will Be Free, More Info Coming Soon

What E3 2021 will look like remains a mystery, but the first official details are beginning to come to light. The ESA announced on Thursday that E3 2021 will go ahead as a digital show, at least in part. And, in response to a leak that suggested it might charge for attendance or certain content, E3 2021's digital show will be free for all attendees and not include any sort of paywall.

The wording of the ESA's announcement doesn't make it clear if E3 2021 will be an all-digital show or if it will have some physical presence as well. We won't have to wait much longer to learn more about what's in store, as the ESA said the first details will be announced "very soon."

A spokesperson for the ESA told GameSpot, "We've been hard at work to deliver a free experience for everyone interested in E3 2021, and we're excited to share further details soon." Subsequently, a spokesperson added that "there will be no elements at E3 2021 that will be behind a paid-for pass or paywall," denying what was outlined in leaked documents obtained by VGC.

E3’s 2021 digital show is a free event for all attendees. We’re excited to fill you in on all the real news for the event very soon.

— E3 (@E3) April 1, 2021

This information comes after pitch documents for a new, all-digital E3 showcase leaked earlier this year and pointed to significant changes for the event as it shifted away from a physical show to a digital one in the wake of the pandemic. We still don't know more about the nature and structure of E3 2021 as it relates to an online vs. physical setup.

There is also no official word yet on when E3 2021 could take place, or what fans can expect in terms of programming and content. E3 traditionally takes place in early-to-mid June.

Although E3 2021 will go ahead, it won't be the only show in town this summer. Microsoft, and its new subsidiary Bethesda, are planning their own showcases outside of E3. It's also expected that other publishers will do the same with their own standalone events at different points throughout the year.

E3 was once the biggest show in video games in terms of profile and prominence, though Gamescom is much larger when it comes to total attendance in pre-pandemic years. E3 has been on the outs for years now, as major publishers like PlayStation, EA, and others jumped ship to host their own events outside of E3 and away from the Los Angeles Convention Center.

The ESA itself, which organizes E3 every year, has faced increased scrutiny and criticism of late as well. Its former CEO, Michael Gallagher, was criticized for his ties to President Trump, while that half of the group's leadership either quit or were fired in 2019.

Facebook’s Nextdoor-clone Neighborhoods is coming soon to four US cities

Facebook, which never saw a social network it couldn’t copy, says its Nextdoor-clone Neighborhoods is now available across Canada and is coming soon to four US cities. According to CNET, the US locations being targeted are Charlotte, North Carolina San Diego, California Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Newark, New Jersey.

Like Nextdoor, Neighborhoods is all about corralling geographically-defined groups of users into a single space to discuss local goings-on. Facebook says users should be able to get to know neighbors, ask for recommendations for the best coffee shops or locksmiths, and organize local events. Users can also create splinter groups specific to their interests.

“You can find vibrant local Facebook groups about your area, or you can create your own Neighborhoods-bounded groups based on your interests,” says Facebook in a blog post. “You can create Neighborhoods groups for local bird watchers, or discuss last night’s game with fellow basketball lovers in your area.”

Users will be encouraged to share their thoughts about their local area and organize events. Image: Facebook

It’s fairly certain that at least some of the activity in these groups will also devolve into petty squabbles, fractious political arguments, and outright racism, as we’ve seen on Nextdoor. Facebook also has a pretty terrible track record when it comes to letting groups of users hang out. Facebook Groups, which also let users organize around shared interests, have been identified as a hot-bed of un-moderated extremism, nurturing everything from white supremacy to anti-vaccine misinformation to conspiracy theories. It’s not at all clear how Facebook is going to avoid these same problems erupting in its new neighborhoods.

Only users aged 18 and up will be allowed to join these groups, where they can create a new profile separate to their main Facebook account. They can “choose to add interests, favorite places and a bio” to this profile before introducing themselves to the group. People will also be able to take on specific roles like ”socializer,” “helper” or “welcomer.” A socializer might want to “spark friendly conversations,” Facebook told The Verge, adding that all roles are “optional ways to participate in Neighborhoods” and there is “no time-commitment.”

Reid Patton, a product manager for Facebook Neighborhoods, told CNET that each group will have moderators to “make sure people are staying within the guidelines and being kind” (that’s a quote from CNET not Patton). A spokesperson for Facebook told The Verge that people will be invited to become moderators, and “use the Neighborhoods Guidelines to review posts and comments in the Neighborhoods feed.”

“If a post or comment appears to go against the Neighborhoods Guidelines, moderators can take action by hiding the post, which will then be reviewed by Facebook Community Operations,” said the spokesperson. “If the post violates Facebook Community Standards, the post will be removed from Neighborhoods.”

Update May 6th, 05:00AM ET: Updated with additional comment from Facebook.

Team LeanVyanjan: Attention!!

Our website is currently under construction and we will be coming up with lots of healthy, yet tasty recipies and health tips exclusively for you. We will start posting recipies from 1st January, 2021 and we will also be live on most of the social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. Our only motive is to provide food lovers like you with lots of easy and tasty recipies keeping health and well-being as our primary concern. Till then, stay tuned with us…

Movies Coming Soon to DVD and Streaming

Mickey (Sebastian Stan) and Chloe (Denise Gough), two Americans in their mid-thirties.

Anne is married to a small-town minister and feels like her life and marriage have.

A young couple (Sawyer Spielberg and Malin Barr) are forced to seek shelter in the.

Nicolas Shaw is a retired U.S. special operative who becomes part of an elite 'invisible'.

In a time when monsters walk the Earth, humanity’s fight for its future sets Godzilla.

A near college graduate, Danielle, gets paid by her sugar daddy and rushes to meet.

Determined to ensure Superman’s (Henry Cavill) ultimate sacrifice was not in vain.

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Movies Coming Soon

Mickey (Sebastian Stan) and Chloe (Denise Gough), two Americans in their mid-thirties.

Anne is married to a small-town minister and feels like her life and marriage have.

A young couple (Sawyer Spielberg and Malin Barr) are forced to seek shelter in the.

Nicolas Shaw is a retired U.S. special operative who becomes part of an elite 'invisible'.

In a time when monsters walk the Earth, humanity’s fight for its future sets Godzilla.

A near college graduate, Danielle, gets paid by her sugar daddy and rushes to meet.

Determined to ensure Superman’s (Henry Cavill) ultimate sacrifice was not in vain.

6 Symptoms Of Acid Reflux You Should Not Ignore

It's estimated that 60 to 70 million people in the U.S. are affected by a digestive disease. While that includes everything from chronic constipation to inflammatory bowel disease and pancreatitis, research shows that acid reflux is the most commonly diagnosed of all. And whether it's due to a physiological reason or the fact that women are more diligent about visiting the doctor, women are diagnosed with GI conditions—including acid reflux—more often than men.

The proper name for acid reflux is gastroesophageal reflux (GER). GER happens when your stomach's contents move back up toward your esophagus, causing an array of uncomfortable symptoms. It's extremely common for anyone to experience this on occasion, according to The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. But if it happens regularly—more than twice a week for a few weeks—it could be a sign that you have a chronic condition called GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease. GERD affects 20 percent of the U.S. population. It's caused by a malfunction in the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). The LES is supposed to close after allowing food to pass through to the stomach, but when it doesn't, stomach acid can flow back up where it's not supposed to be. Over time, GERD can cause damage to the esophagus, including precancerous changes, or lead to respiratory problems like pneumonia, laryngitis, and asthma, so it's important to get treated.

Though some people are most at risk—pregnant women, smokers, and those who are overweight or obese—acid reflux and GERD can happen to anyone. Here are the most common signs to look out for.

This is the most common symptom of acid reflux. "Somewhere between 5 to 10 precent of the population suffers daily heartburn," Felice Schnoll-Sussman, M.D., gastroenterologist and director of the Jay Monahan Center for Gastrointestinal Health at NewYork-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medicine, tells SELF. Heartburn is marked by a burning sensation in the chest, right behind your breastbone, that happens after eating. It can last a few minutes or several hours. Chest pain, especially after bending over or lying down, and burning in the throat are also signs you're experiencing heartburn. If chest pain is ever paired with shortness of breath or jaw or arm pain, seek medical attention, as you could be experiencing symptoms of a heart attack.

About 80 percent of people with GERD also experience regurgitation, when undigested food and stomach acid move back up from the stomach to the esophagus. You know, that feeling when you kind of burp and get a little taste of your last meal (but, like, mixed with puke). Eating large meals, exercising, or bending over after eating can trigger regurgitation. But it can also happen suddenly.

"A fair number of people with acid reflux experience a sour taste in their mouth," Schnoll-Sussman says. It may also seem bitter, and can cause bad breath. This commonly happens along with regurgitation.

This is called dysphagia. Dysphagia makes it take longer to get food down, and can feel like food is sticking in the esophagus. According to the Mayo Clinic, this is caused by GERD-induced damage to esophageal tissues, which can cause the lower esophagus to spasm, scar, and become more narrow.

The reason many people with GERD develop a chronic cough is unclear, but there are two theories in the medical community. One is that cough happens as a protective measure when tiny amounts of acid reaches—and is slightly breathed into—the larynx, which acts as an air passage to the lungs. The other theory is that the cough is simply a reflex reaction to what's happening in the upper part of your digestive tract.

When stomach acid moves up the esophagus, it can irritate the vocal cords. This is often worse in the morning, after lying down all night and may subside during the day. This constant irritation can also make the throat feel a bit sore.

Some Covid Survivors Haunted by Loss of Smell and Taste

As the coronavirus claims more victims, a once-rare diagnosis is receiving new attention from scientists, who fear it may affect nutrition and mental health.

Until March, when everything started tasting like cardboard, Katherine Hansen had such a keen sense of smell that she could recreate almost any restaurant dish at home without the recipe, just by recalling the scents and flavors.

Then the coronavirus arrived. One of Ms. Hansen’s first symptoms was a loss of smell, and then of taste. Ms. Hansen still cannot taste food, and says she can’t even tolerate chewing it. Now she lives mostly on soups and shakes.

“I’m like someone who loses their eyesight as an adult,” said Ms. Hansen, a real estate agent who lives outside Seattle. “They know what something should look like. I know what it should taste like, but I can’t get there.”

A diminished sense of smell, called anosmia, has emerged as one of the telltale symptoms of Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. It is the first symptom for some patients, and sometimes the only one. Often accompanied by an inability to taste, anosmia occurs abruptly and dramatically in these patients, almost as if a switch had been flipped.

Most regain their senses of smell and taste after they recover, usually within weeks. But in a minority of patients like Ms. Hansen, the loss persists, and doctors cannot say when or if the senses will return.

Scientists know little about how the virus causes persistent anosmia or how to cure it. But cases are piling up as the coronavirus sweeps across the world, and some experts fear that the pandemic may leave huge numbers of people with a permanent loss of smell and taste. The prospect has set off an urgent scramble among researchers to learn more about why patients are losing these essential senses, and how to help them.

“Many people have been doing olfactory research for decades and getting little attention,” said Dr. Dolores Malaspina, professor of psychiatry, neuroscience, genetics and genomics at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. “Covid is just turning that field upside down.”

Smell is intimately tied to both taste and appetite, and anosmia often robs people of the pleasure of eating. But the sudden absence also may have a profound impact on mood and quality of life.

Studies have linked anosmia to social isolation and anhedonia, an inability to feel pleasure, as well as a strange sense of detachment and isolation. Memories and emotions are intricately tied to smell, and the olfactory system plays an important though largely unrecognized role in emotional well-being, said Dr. Sandeep Robert Datta, an associate professor of neurobiology at Harvard Medical School.

“You think of it as an aesthetic bonus sense,” Dr. Datta said. “But when someone is denied their sense of smell, it changes the way they perceive the environment and their place in the environment. People’s sense of well-being declines. It can be really jarring and disconcerting.”

Many sufferers describe the loss as extremely upsetting, even debilitating, all the more so because it is invisible to others.

“Smell is not something we pay a lot of attention to until it’s gone,” said Pamela Dalton, who studies smell’s link to cognition and emotion at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia. “Then people notice it, and it is pretty distressing. Nothing is quite the same.”

British scientists studied the experiences of 9,000 Covid-19 patients who joined a Facebook support group set up by the charity group AbScent between March 24 and September 30. Many members said they had not only lost pleasure in eating, but also in socializing. The loss had weakened their bonds with other people, affecting intimate relationships and leaving them feeling isolated, even detached from reality.

“I feel alien from myself,” one participant wrote. “It’s also kind of a loneliness in the world. Like a part of me is missing, as I can no longer smell and experience the emotions of everyday basic living.”

Another said, “I feel discombobulated — like I don’t exist. I can’t smell my house and feel at home. I can’t smell fresh air or grass when I go out. I can’t smell the rain.”

Loss of smell is a risk factor for anxiety and depression, so the implications of widespread anosmia deeply trouble mental health experts. Dr. Malaspina and other researchers have found that olfactory dysfunction often precedes social deficits in schizophrenia, and social withdrawal even in healthy individuals.

“From a public health perspective, this is really important,” Dr. Datta said. “If you think worldwide about the number of people with Covid, even if only 10 percent have a more prolonged smell loss, we’re talking about potentially millions of people.”

The most immediate effects may be nutritional. People with anosmia may continue to perceive basic tastes — salty, sour, sweet, bitter and umami. But taste buds are relatively crude preceptors. Smell adds complexity to the perception of flavor via hundreds of odor receptors signaling the brain.

Many people who can’t smell will lose their appetites, putting them at risk of nutritional deficits and unintended weight loss. Kara VanGuilder, who lives in Brookline, Mass., said she has lost 20 pounds since March, when her sense of smell vanished.

“I call it the Covid diet,” said Ms. VanGuilder, 26, who works in medical administration. “There no point in indulging in brownies if I can’t really taste the brownie.”

But while she jokes about it, she added, the loss has been distressing: “For a few months, every day almost, I would cry at the end of the day.”

Smells also serve as a primal alarm system alerting humans to dangers in our environment, like fires or gas leaks. A diminished sense of smell in old age is one reason older individuals are more prone to accidents, like fires caused by leaving burning food on the stove.

Michele Miller, of Bayside, N.Y., was infected with the coronavirus in March and hasn’t smelled anything since then. Recently, her husband and daughter rushed her out of their house, saying the kitchen was filling with gas.

She had no idea. “It’s one thing not to smell and taste, but this is survival,” Ms. Miller said.

Humans constantly scan their environments for smells that signal changes and potential harms, though the process is not always conscious, said Dr. Dalton, of the Monell Chemical Senses Center.

Smell alerts the brain to the mundane, like dirty clothes, and the risky, like spoiled food. Without this form of detection, “people get anxious about things,” Dr. Dalton said.

Even worse, some Covid-19 survivors are tormented by phantom odors that are unpleasant and often noxious, like the smells of burning plastic, ammonia or feces, a distortion called parosmia.

Eric Reynolds, a 51-year-old probation officer in Santa Maria, Calif., lost his sense of smell when he contracted Covid-19 in April. Now, he said, he often perceives foul odors that he knows don’t exist. Diet drinks taste like dirt soap and laundry detergent smell like stagnant water or ammonia.

“I can’t do dishes, it makes me gag,” Mr. Reynolds said. He’s also haunted by phantom smells of corn chips and a scent he calls “old lady perfume smell.”

It’s not unusual for patients like him to develop food aversions related to their distorted perceptions, said Dr. Evan R. Reiter, medical director of the smell and taste center at Virginia Commonwealth University, who has been tracking the recovery of some 2,000 Covid-19 patients who lost their sense of smell.

One of his patients is recovering, but “now that it’s coming back, she’s saying that everything or virtually everything that she eats will give her a gasoline taste or smell,” Dr. Reiter said.

The derangement of smell may be part of the recovery process, as receptors in the nose struggle to reawaken, sending signals to the brain that misfire or are misread, Dr. Reiter said.

After loss of smell, “different populations or subtypes of receptors may be impacted to different degrees, so the signals your brain is used to getting when you eat steak will be distorted and may trick your brain into thinking you’re eating dog poop or something else that’s not palatable.”

Patients desperate for answers and treatment have tried therapies like smell training: sniffing essential oils or sachets with a variety of odors — such as lavender, eucalyptus, cinnamon and chocolate — several times a day in an effort to coax back the sense of smell. A recent study of 153 patients in Germany found the training could be moderately helpful in those who had lower olfactory functioning and in those with parosmia.

Dr. Alfred Iloreta, an otolaryngologist at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, has begun a clinical trial to see whether taking fish oil helps restore the sense of smell. The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil may protect nerve cells from further damage or help regenerate nerve growth, he suggested.

“If you have no smell or taste, you have a hard time eating anything, and that’s a massive quality of life issue,” Dr. Iloreta said. “My patients, and the people I know who have lost their smell, are completely wrecked by it.”

Mr. Reynolds feels the loss most acutely when he goes to the beach near his home to walk. He no longer smells the ocean or salt air.

“My mind knows what it smells like,” he said. “And when I get there, it’s not there.”

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