Did You Know Your Nose Can Detect Over a Trillion Scents?
Mar 23, 2014 10:57
Your nose is more incredible than previously thought. Scientists have been assuming that our nose was capable of discerning 10,000 different odors, but it turns out, it's more than that. According to new research, we can detect over a trillion scents.
According to a paper published in Science, Leslia Vosshall and colleagues from Howard Hughes Medical Institute took on the 10,000 scents estimate and used some crafty extrapolation and crafted a novel, never before smelled scents composed of 10, 20, or 30 odor ingredients.
"We didn't want them to be explicitly recognizable, so most of our mixtures were pretty nasty and weird," Vosshall told MedicalXpress. "We wanted people to pay attention to 'here's this really complex thing – can I pick another complex thing as being different?'"
The team extrapolated the data and arrived at a 1 trillion estimate. Read the whole thing over at Science: [Science via MedicalXpress Owen Wilson's nose pictured]
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