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Researchers Turn Mice Into Wine Snobs 80

Posted by samzenpus
from the masters-of-the-cheese-pairings dept.
Unsatisfied with the number of reasons people have to hate rodents already, scientists at Japan's Hiroshima University have taught mice to be wine snobs. After being trained to pick red wine over other kinds the mice were taught to distinguish between brands. From the article: "We examined performance of mice in discrimination of liquor odors by Y-maze behavioral assays. Thirsty mice were initially trained to choose the odor of a red wine in the Y-maze. After successful training (>70% concordance for each trained mouse), the individual mice were able to discriminate the learned red wine from other liquors, including white wine, rosé wine, sake, and plum liqueur."

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Researchers Turn Mice Into Wine Snobs

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  • by Drakkenmensch (1255800) on Thursday March 03, 2011 @02:35PM (#35371292)
    "My name is Mickey Mouse, and I'm an alcoholic."
  • by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Thursday March 03, 2011 @02:40PM (#35371346)

    Fruity, with a dash of buck-toothed pretentious asshole. Yes, yes, a wonderful vintage indeed.

  • by datapharmer (1099455) on Thursday March 03, 2011 @02:41PM (#35371366) Homepage

    Researchers turn mice into winos

    Fixed that for them.

  • of Mickey Mouse research?

  • Or did they get the wine snob genes from PETA activists? Hmmm......

  • The title definitely sounds like an Onion article
  • ... of an IgNobel prize. Maybe two: Chemistry and Biology.

    • ... of an IgNobel prize. Maybe two: Chemistry and Biology.

      Oh hell, throw in Behavioral Psychology too. Make it a trifecta.

  • So what are you up to, professor number 1? "Oh, I'm cooking up some cold fusion, in my basement." And you, professor number 2? "Oh, I'm making gasoline from algae." Now to professor number 3, what is your area of research? "I'm training mice to become wine connoisseurs. Hey, don't laugh, my mice gave a Château Mouton Rothschild five squeaks!"

    So the next time that I'm in a expensive restaurant, and they ask if I want to look at the wine menu, I'll just pull a mouse out of my pocket. And say, "M

  • How do we know the mice weren't tricking the researchers into thinking they (the mice) weren't wine snobs already?

    The Universe is neither friendly nor hostile; it is merely absurd. This story's set-up for a thousand wiseacre Slashdot comments is yet more proof that Adams was on the right track, after all.
  • wine snobs are turned into mice.

  • I, for one, welcome our new snob overlords.
  • Hipster mice! With tiny hoodies, dark framed glasses, and Starbucks cups!

    Still more evidence that I'm in the wrong line of work...
    • by magarity (164372)

      That sounds easier than when I tried to train gangsta mice. Their little paws just weren't strong enough to hold their pistols sideways.

  • by Hognoxious (631665) on Thursday March 03, 2011 @03:34PM (#35371974) Homepage Journal

    Unsatisfied with the number of reasons people have to hate rodents already, scientists at Japan's Hiroshima University have taught mice to be wine snobs.

    Lucky they didn't train them to use Macs. The Japanese are sadistic bastards who eat dolphins alive but that would be going too far even for them.

  • [11:40am] Mousey Are you a wine snob? :P
    11:40AM no, i'm a beer snob

  • I was hoping they implanted some DNA from Robert Parker and gave it a typewriter...

  • is someone who can differentiate white, rose, and red wine.

    My, oh my.

    • by osu-neko (2604)
      Okay, that may not live up to human standards for a wine snob, but come on, it's a mouse. By mouse standards, that's highly discriminating.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Mr. Slippery (47854)

      is someone who can differentiate white, rose, and red wine.

      Right. Because in point of fact, wine snobs can't do so [astrocyte-design.com]:

      M Brochet carried out two studies. In the first, he invited 54 of Bordeaux's eminent wine experts to sample different bottles, including a white wine to which he had added a flavourless substance giving it a red colour. Not a single expert noticed. âoeIt is a well known psychological phenomonen â" you taste what you are expecting to taste,â M Brochet said. âoeThey were e

  • .... Wizards Turn Wine Snobs Into Mice.
  • Now, if only they could turn wine snobs into mice...

  • I wonder if they could be trained to be wine slobs too. Then they could compare the two and find out if slobs or snobs are healthier.
  • They're the ultimate snobs now.

  • the individual mice were able to discriminate the learned red wine from other liquors, including white wine, rosé wine, sake, and plum liqueur

    But still can't tell the difference between Diet Dr. Pepper and regular Dr. Pepper.

  • This is just proving that mice can smell. Anyone that deals with mice can tell them that, and without a research grant as well. Next they should prove that dogs can identify burrito eaters from their intestinal gaseous excretion.
  • Would have been a much more interesting article
  • Thank SCIENCE! we finally know the answer to that question. Research money well spent.

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