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Home > News > Quantum mechanics may explain how humans smell

February 1st, 2007

Quantum mechanics may explain how humans smell

Abstract:
Scientists from the London Centre for Nanotechnology (LCN) at University College London have newly analyzed an intriguing 10-year-old theory of smell, finding that the idea may make more sense than once thought.

Regarding smell, scientists only have a few pieces of the puzzle, and it's unclear how they fit into the big picture. Basically, scientists know that odorant molecules in the air actuate several types of receptors in our noses, which then trigger nerve cells for the brain to analyze. But while scientists know that the shape and size of molecules can make odors smell differently, some molecules with nearly identical shapes smell nothing alike.

Source:
physorg.com

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