Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Is smell a quantum effect?

Abstract:
For better or for worse, most of us have our sense of smell working hard every second, every hour and every day - whether or not we are particularly conscious of it. We constantly use, and perhaps take for granted, this sensory equipment. We still do not know how smell works. This is in spite of revolutionary work by Buck and Axel in 2004 (for which they won the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine) that determined what type of receptors the olfactory receptors are and how they are organized.

Is smell a quantum effect?

London, UK | Posted on March 28th, 2011

In a recent publication for the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, Jennifer Brookes discusses the current condition for theories of signal transduction in olfaction. One theory based on Luca Turin's hypothesis from 1996, holds promise; that an odorant's quantized vibrational mode (a phonon) may facilitate electron tunnelling which constitutes the recognition event in the nose. The novel mechanism is explored and explained.

Controversy still surrounds the conception that humans may ‘smell' vibrations - that smell is a spectral sense - analogous to seeing and hearing. This article clarifies that the mechanism is indeed physically feasible and proposes ways to quantize scent. The philosophy of the article emphasises testing and developing new ideas, particularly quantum ideas, in the context of molecular recognition in biology, with the aim of answering some interesting scientific questions or at least generating new ones!

This work has been published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Visions of the future for the Royal Society's 350th anniversary year (Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A 2010 368, 3491-3502)

####

For more information, please click here

Copyright © London Centre for Nanotechnology

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

Journal link:

Related News Press

News and information

Researchers find new way to control light with electric fields May 25th, 2017

Nanometrics Announces Retirement Plans of CEO Timothy Stultz: Dr. Stultz to Continue as Director May 25th, 2017

Nanomechanics, Inc. to Exhibit at the SEM Conference: Nanoindentation experts will attend and exhibit their instruments at the Conference and Exposition on Experimental and Applied Mechanics in Indianapolis May 25th, 2017

Three-dimensional graphene: Experiment at BESSY II shows that optical properties are tuneable May 24th, 2017

Physics

Ultracold atom waves may shed light on rogue ocean killers: Rice quantum experiments probe underlying physics of rogue ocean waves April 27th, 2017

Geoffrey Beach: Drawn to explore magnetism: Materials researcher is working on the magnetic memory of the future April 25th, 2017

NIST physicists show ion pairs perform enhanced 'spooky action' March 30th, 2017

Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms: In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport February 20th, 2017

Discoveries

Researchers find new way to control light with electric fields May 25th, 2017

Three-dimensional graphene: Experiment at BESSY II shows that optical properties are tuneable May 24th, 2017

Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria: Rice, Ben-Gurion universities show laser-induced graphene kills bacteria, resists biofouling May 22nd, 2017

Graphene-nanotube hybrid boosts lithium metal batteries: Rice University prototypes store 3 times the energy of lithium-ion batteries May 19th, 2017

Announcements

Researchers find new way to control light with electric fields May 25th, 2017

Nanometrics Announces Retirement Plans of CEO Timothy Stultz: Dr. Stultz to Continue as Director May 25th, 2017

Nanomechanics, Inc. to Exhibit at the SEM Conference: Nanoindentation experts will attend and exhibit their instruments at the Conference and Exposition on Experimental and Applied Mechanics in Indianapolis May 25th, 2017

Three-dimensional graphene: Experiment at BESSY II shows that optical properties are tuneable May 24th, 2017

Quantum nanoscience

The speed limit for intra-chip communications in microprocessors of the future January 23rd, 2017

First experimental proof of a 70 year old physics theory: First observation of magnetic phase transition in 2-D materials, as predicted by the Nobel winner Onsager in 1943 January 6th, 2017

Quantum simulation technique yields topological soliton state in SSH model January 3rd, 2017

Diamonds are technologists' best friends: Researchers from the Lomonosov Moscow State University have grown needle- and thread-like diamonds and studied their useful properties December 30th, 2016

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project