Why does mint feel cold and chiles feel hot?



So, the way we experience…pretty much everything is via proteins and ion channels. Very basically…there are proteins that are designed to sense certain things….the presence of sugar, whether they’ve been struck by light, the concentration of CO2 in the blood. When they sense those things, they open an ion channel changing the electrical charge of the cell, which then get transferred through the nervous system to the brain where that area of the brain is like “Cool…we’ve got sugar…or light…or too much CO2 in the blood.”
Well, sometimes these proteins can be fooled. A chemical will, just by chance (or by natural selection) be able to bind with that protein and cause that whole cascade to occur without the real stimulus. This is what happens with menthol in mint and capsaicin in peppers. Those chemicals bind to the cold / hot receptors respectively, fooling your body into thinking that something cold / hot is happening in your mouth. Pretty cool.

Hank answers your science questions over on the SciShow tumblr!

02:17 am, question from hiimjosephfink, answered reblogged  by luckychihuahua 740


i think part of the reason why 80’s movies were so great was because they explore the idea of teenagers that have absolutely no where to go or no idea of what to do with their life- and that’s okay.

(Source: nickdunnne)

10:51 pm, reblogged  by luckychihuahua 102086



Putting an engineering degree to good use

Oh hey look at that

  09:43 pm, reblogged  by luckychihuahua 31887


damn, i just got SERVED. by my waitress. this restaurant is excellent.

08:34 pm, reblogged  by luckychihuahua 258518



nutrition stripped | photoshoot


(Source: nutritionstripped.com)

  07:26 pm, reblogged  by luckychihuahua 10598



African Lion (by Tony)

Lional, because you’re worth it 

06:17 pm, reblogged  by luckychihuahua 237579


Sherman Alexie, “On Airplanes”

05:08 pm, reblogged  by luckychihuahua 3316


Better get my shit packed for Hogwarts the train leaves tomorrow

04:45 pm, reblogged  by luckychihuahua 183309

(Source: amypoehler)

04:27 pm, reblogged  by luckychihuahua 23976