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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The nose knows around 1 trillion different odors?

People often say humans can distinguish only about 10 thousand different smells. However, a recent study showed the nose can smell around a trillion different smell. "These findings give the human a complex inferiority about our smell sense," says Leslie Vosshall, a smell researcher from Rockefeller University in New York as reported by LiveScience.
A study to measure volunteers' ability to distinguish between odors found that human noses have not been getting the credit they deserve. (Picture from: http://www.livescience.com/)
In scholarly and popular literature it is said that the human nose can smell 10 thousand different smells. It's just a little new researchers really test its validity. However, in this latest study, the researchers suspect the human nose can smell more than 10 thousand odors based on the fact that the nose has 400 olfactory receptors.

To verify the person could smell 10 thousand different scents or more would be an impossible task. Therefore, Vosshall and her colleagues tested the sub-set of smell in different combinations, and estimate the amount of odor that the human nose can distinguish. The researchers then created a mixture of 128 different odor molecules. These molecules resemble smell like grass or orange, but all together, it will smell different.

Then, they asked for volunteers to identify them. The results showed that man can kiss at least one trillion different smell. However, according Vosshall this number may be higher because there are actually more than 128 odor molecules. Vosshall hope this research will inspire people to kiss the world in new ways. "Do not limit yourself to 10 thousand odors, .." she said. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | LIVESCIENCE]
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