Researchers say that a certain gene is responsible for peoples' distaste towards Brussels sprouts, which is a quintessential part of Christmas dinner.
According to spokesman for the Eden Project, the vegetables contain a bitter chemical similar to PTC (Phenylthiocarbamide) which tastes bitter to people that have a variation of a certain gene.
AdvertisementBut those with a mutation on that gene do not taste the bitterness.
Almost half of the world's population have the mutation, which scientists consider beneficial since people with it are more likely to enjoy eating Brussels sprouts, which are high in vitamin C and iron, the Telegraph reported.
"Christmas dinner isn't usually associated with science. This hands-on project helps to do exactly that, as it explores why some people like and some hate Brussels sprouts," Alex Ledbrooke, Cornwall College science, technology, engineering and mathematics project manager, said.
The students at the Eden Project in Cornwall are participating in the tests as part of a national programme run by the UK Association for Science and Discovery Centres (ASDC) and supported by the Wellcome Trust - which aims to give young people hands-on experience with DNA.
They will extract their own DNA with a cheek swab and amplify it using Polymerase Chain Reaction - a process that makes many copies of a small piece of DNA, to test for the gene that is believed to determine whether a person likes their sprouts or not.