Sweeter than Sweet; Saltier than Salt; More Sour than an Aborted Fetus
Sugar, ahhh – – honey honey
you are my candy girl
and you got me wanting you
I just can’t believe the loveliness of loving you
(I just can’t believe its true)
I just can believe the wonder of this feeling too
(I just can’t believe its true)
–Wilson Pickett, 1970 (Written by Barry and Andy Kim)
We are witnessing the dawning of a sci-fi food revolution.
A new technology. A new food group. Amazingly, my research
uncovered something nobody has ever revealed before in a column,
newspaper article, or magazine expose. The next time you read
“artificial flavor” on a food label, you should be aware that
a component of that new genetically engineered food additive
may be embryonic kidney cells from aborted human fetuses.
The new high-tech artificial flavors are not flavors at all.
Instead, they contain chemicals which have been engineered
to fool human taste buds. Future foods will need no salt, sugar,
MSG, or artificial sweeteners. Instead, sensory perceptions will
become warped by modern science. Brains will taste things that
are not really there. Illusions. Deceptions. Memories of taste
which are now artificially induced.
You may not understand the abstract of the most recent publication
from this new food science, as published in the May 2, 2008 issue
of the Journal of Biochemistry. I will translate.
J Biol Chem. 2008 May 2;283(18):11981-
Small molecule activator of the human epithelial sodium
channel.Lu M, Echeverri F, Kalabat D, Laita B, Dahan DS,
Smith RD, Xu H, Staszewski L, Yamamoto J, Ling J, Hwang N,
Kimmich R, Li P, Patron E, Keung W, Patron A, Moyer BD.
Senomyx, Inc., San Diego, California 92121.
The epithelial sodium channel (ENaC), a heterotrimeric complex
composed of alpha, beta, and gamma subunits, belongs to the
ENaC/degenerin family of ion channels and forms the principal
route for apical Na(+) entry in many reabsorbing epithelia.
Although high affinity ENaC blockers, including amiloride and
derivatives, have been described, potent and specific small
molecule ENaC activators have not been reported. Here we
describe compound S3969 that fully and reversibly activates
human ENaC (hENaC) in an amiloride-sensitive and dose-dependent
manner in heterologous cells. Mechanistically, S3969 increases
hENaC open probability through interactions requiring the
extracellular domain of the beta subunit. hENaC activation by
S3969 did not require cleavage by the furin protease, indicating
that nonproteolyzed channels can be opened. Function of
alphabetaG37Sgamma hENaC, a channel defective in gating that
leads to the salt-wasting disease pseudohypoaldostero
was rescued by S3969. Small molecule activation of hENaC may find
application in alleviating human disease, including
respiratory distress syndrome, when improved Na(+) flux across
epithelial membranes is clinically desirable.
OK, so what does it all mean? Another question:
What’s $6 today and $100 in the Near Future?
One share of stock from a company called Senomyx.
SNMX trades on NASDAQ
From the Senomyx website:
“Flavors are substances that impart tastes or aromas in
foods and beverages. Individuals experience the sensation
of taste when flavors in food and beverage products interact
with taste receptors in the mouth…signals are sent to the
brain where a specific taste sensation is registered.
We have discovered or in-licensed many of the key receptors
that mediate taste in humans. Having isolated human taste
receptors, we have created proprietary taste receptor-based
assay systems…has enabled us to improve our ability to
find novel flavor enhancers…
and discovered hundreds of unique potential flavor enhancers and
Translation: Senomyx is re-inventing food and flavor by genetically
engineering taste bud receptor cell triggers. Foods of the future
will contain “flavor enhancers” which fool human taste buds into
perceiving the sensations of sweetness, sourness, saltiness, and
Remember the artificial sweetener controversies? Chemical
sugar-replicating compounds are listed on food labels. The
new chemicals made by biotech companies will require no
such labels. Although they are not actual flavors, they will
be called “artificial flavors.”
How did Senomyx accomplish the task? A (multi-hour) review of
their patents reveals that it all began with the cloning of
human embryonic kidney cells. Step two was a recombinant
process involving the combination of genetic material from
embryonic kidney cells and human adeno-virus. If I had the
ability to recall ten thousand abbreviations for the amino
acid sequence, plus hundreds of complex combinations of
ACTG (adeneine, cytosine, thymine, guanine) I’d describe the
structure to you. For those curious scientists, do a google
search with the keywords ‘Senomyx and patents’ and the
third link (bioportfolio.
need to know. See: United States Patent #5,993,778.
How far into the future will these new biotech wonders appear
in our food supply?
The future is now. The next time you read “artificial flavor”
on a food label, pause to consider what you’ve read here today.
Content labels should read: Embryonic kidney cells from
aborted human fetuses.
Senomyx is presently developing new products with many of
the world’s largest food manufacturers including Kraft,
Campbell’s, and Coca Cola. In fact, if you eat Nestle’s foods,
your taste buds are being artificially stimulated by biotech
products developed by Senomyx. You may not know exactly what
you are eating, but I take this opportunity to paraphrase 17th
century author Miguel Cervantes, who wrote in Don Quixote:
“The proof is in the pudding.”