KAIROS, LATIN STOCK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY KAIROS, LATIN STOCK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Taste bud. Structure of a taste bud found on the surface of the tongue. They are cone-shaped organs (top right) which extend throughout the thickness of the epithelial layer. Each taste bud is composed of about thirty elongated sensory cells (pink) and their pointed apices (as shown in the inset at upper left) converge onto a small cavity known as the gustatory pore. In the same inset the larger round and blue area represents the nucleus of a sensory cell. From the gustatory pore molecules (red, upper left) enter and stimulate the receptory cells which then send "messages" to the brain through a network of nerve fibres (black at bottom right).
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