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

Sandia use confined nanoparticles to improve hydrogen storage materials performance: Big changes from a small package for hydrogen storage February 25th, 2017

New nano approach could cut dose of leading HIV treatment in half February 24th, 2017

Atom-scale oxidation mechanism of nanoparticles helps develop anti-corrosion materials February 24th, 2017

Atomic force imaging used to study nematodes: KFU bionanotechnology lab (head - Dr. Rawil Fakhrullin) has obtained 3-D images of nematodes' cuticles February 23rd, 2017

Physics

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

Research reveals novel quantum state in strange insulating materials February 14th, 2017

Sorting machine for atoms:Researchers at the University of Bonn clear a further hurdle on the path to creating quantum computers February 10th, 2017

The shape of melting in two dimensions: University of Michigan team uses Titan to explore fundamental phase transitions February 2nd, 2017

Discoveries

Sandia use confined nanoparticles to improve hydrogen storage materials performance: Big changes from a small package for hydrogen storage February 25th, 2017

New nano approach could cut dose of leading HIV treatment in half February 24th, 2017

Atom-scale oxidation mechanism of nanoparticles helps develop anti-corrosion materials February 24th, 2017

Atomic force imaging used to study nematodes: KFU bionanotechnology lab (head - Dr. Rawil Fakhrullin) has obtained 3-D images of nematodes' cuticles February 23rd, 2017

Announcements

Sandia use confined nanoparticles to improve hydrogen storage materials performance: Big changes from a small package for hydrogen storage February 25th, 2017

New nano approach could cut dose of leading HIV treatment in half February 24th, 2017

Atom-scale oxidation mechanism of nanoparticles helps develop anti-corrosion materials February 24th, 2017

Atomic force imaging used to study nematodes: KFU bionanotechnology lab (head - Dr. Rawil Fakhrullin) has obtained 3-D images of nematodes' cuticles February 23rd, 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