Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Mechanisms for sensitivity to the “sweaty” smell of isovaleric acid

30.10.2007
Some people are oblivious to the odor in the locker room after a game, while others wrinkle their noses at the slightest whiff of sweat. Research by Prof. Doron Lancet, research student Idan Menashe, and colleagues, published in this month’s PLoS Biology, shows that this difference is at least partly genetic.

Our sense of smell often takes a back seat to our other senses, but humans can perceive up to 10,000 different odors. Like mice, which boast a highly developed sense of smell, we have about 1000 different genes for the smell-detecting receptors in our olfactory “retinas.” In humans, however, over half of these genes have become defunct in the last few million years. Some of these genes are “broken” in all people, while others still function in some of the population.

Lancet and his coauthors, from several institutions in Israel and Florida, had their experimental volunteers sniff varying concentrations of compounds that smelled like banana, eucalyptus, spearmint, or sweat. They compared their ability to detect each odor with their patterns of receptor gene loss. The team found that one gene (OR11H7P) appeared to be associated with the capacity of smelling sweat. When participants had two genes with disrupting mutations, they were likely to be impervious to the offending odor, while those that were hypersensitive to the smell had at least one intact gene.

The scientists noted, however, that while having at least one intact OR11H7P gene might determine if you can smell whether your loved one has just come from the gym, this is not the entire story. Women were generally slightly more sensitive to many smells than men, and some individuals of both sexes were better or worse in across-the-board acuity to all odorants. Furthermore, as is always the case, not all variation was caused by genetic differences; environmental factors were seen to play an important role as well.

... more about:
»acid »isovaleric »odor »sense »sweat

Citation: Menashe I, Abaffy T, Hasin Y, Goshen S, Yahalom V, et al. (2007) Genetic elucidation of human hyperosmia to isovaleric acid. PLoS Biol 5(11): e284. doi:10.1371/ journal.pbio.0050284

Andrew Hyde | alfa
Further information:
http://www.plosbiology.org
http://biology.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pbio.0050284

Further reports about: acid isovaleric odor sense sweat

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers invent tiny, light-powered wires to modulate brain's electrical signals

21.02.2018 | Life Sciences

The “Holy Grail” of peptide chemistry: Making peptide active agents available orally

21.02.2018 | Life Sciences

Atomic structure of ultrasound material not what anyone expected

21.02.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>