How to tune out common odors and focus on important ones

Quantitative biologists at CSHL have figured out how a fly brain learns to ignore overwhelmingly prevalent, mundane odors to focus on more important ones. It's an important step towards understanding how our senses work and ...

Discovering what makes durian stink

Researchers at the Leibniz-Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich (Leibniz-LSB@TUM) have confirmed the presence of the rare amino acid ethionine in a plant—or more precisely, in the fruit ...

Bird bacteria is key to communication and mating

Birds use odor to identify other birds, and researchers at Michigan State University have shown that if the bacteria that produce the odor is altered, it could negatively impact a bird's ability to communicate with other ...

Male common marmosets smell female fertility

Scientists from the University of Leipzig and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology found that male common marmosets are able to detect the fertile phase of females based on changes in their body odor. Using ...

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Odor

An odor or odour is caused by one or more volatilized chemical compounds, generally at a very low concentration, that humans or other animals perceive by the sense of olfaction. Odors are also commonly called scents, which can refer to both pleasant and unpleasant odors. The terms fragrance, scent, and aroma are used primarily by the food and cosmetic industry to describe a pleasant odor, and are sometimes used to refer to perfumes. In contrast, malodor, stench, reek, and stink are used specifically to describe unpleasant odors.

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