Friday, April 09, 2004


Masters of Wine candidates will be amused to read Wendy V. Parr et al., "Exploring the nature of wine expertise: what underlies wine experts' olfactory recognition memory advantage?" Food Quality and Preference 15/5 (2004), 411-20
Results showed superior olfactory recognition by expert wine judges, despite their olfactory sensitivity, bias measures, and odour-identification ability being similar to those of novices. Contrary to a prediction that wine experts' recognition memory would not be influenced by type of odorant-encoding task, while novices' recognition memory would be inhibited by forced naming of odorants, both groups' olfactory recognition was facilitated by identifying odorants relative to judging odorants in terms of pleasantness. Ability to recognise odours and ability to name odours were not positively correlated, although novices' data showed a trend in this direction. The results imply that the source of superior odour recognition memory in wine experts was not due to enhanced semantic memory and linguistic capabilities for wine-relevant odours, but perceptual skill (e.g., olfactory imaging).
[Also see Jane Bradbury's "Taste Perception, Cracking the Code," in PLoS Bio]

A. Spada et al., "Italian rice varieties: historical data, molecular markers and pedigrees to reveal their genetic relationships," Plant Breeding 123/2 (2004), 105 sorts out the genomic relationship of 96 italian rice varieties; further rice news in the same journal: G. H. Jiang et al., "Pyramiding of insect- and disease-resistance genes into an elite indica, cytoplasm male sterile restorer line of rice, 'Minghui 63'" [p. 114]

And don't miss Andy Griffin's article on Strawberries and Methyl Bromide [no mention of the short-handled hoe].


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