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A substance that tastes bitter to some people but is tasteless to others. The ability to taste it is thought to be an autosomal dominant trait. Phenylthiourea contains the N-C=S group on which the taste peculiarity apparently depends; goitrogenic or antithyroid substances (for example, thiourea and thiouracil), which also contain this group, possess the same property with respect to taste. See: taste deficiency.
phenylthiourea/phen·yl·thio·urea/ (-thi″o-u-re´ah) a compound used in genetics research; the ability to taste it is inherited as a dominant trait. It is intensely bitter to about 70 per cent of the population and nearly tasteless to the rest.