Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). For example, some people have no sense for the smell of camphor. People often say that humans can distinguish among only 10,000 different odors. Olfactory receptor, also called smell receptor, protein capable of binding odour molecules that plays a central role in the sense of smell (olfaction). Humans can make use of body odour subconsciously to identify whether a potential mate will pass on favourable traits to their offspring. Researchers have estimated that a bloodhound’s nose consists of approximately 230 million olfactory cells, or “scent receptors” — 40 times the number in humans. Instead of being further inhaled into the lungs, the air rests in this space to allow scent molecules to interact with scent receptors in the nose. Doughnuts: In the study of the Human Male Sexual Response to Olfactory Stimuli, the scent of doughnuts were found to enhance the arousing effects of other smells on the body. Vosshall hopes the research will inspire people to smell the world in a new way. When you smell many fruits or flowers, what you are smelling is esters evaporating from the fruit or flower. And in 2009, the team also reported that subjecting olfactory receptors in the human prostate to beta-ionone, a scent compound found in violets and roses, slowed the spread of prostate cancer cells by way of turning off misbehaving genes. The findings revealed that humans can smell at least 1 trillion different scents. German Shepherds have an incredible ability to air-scent. In fact, a dog relies on her sense of smell to interpret her world, in much the same way as people depend on their sight. In comparison, humans have 5 million and dogs have 220 million. You will receive a verification email shortly. This is achieved by binding them to soluble proteins, which can move freely through the mucus. There was a problem. It lifts its head high in the air (rather than keeping it low to the ground) while casting about to catch a scent. Each of the hundreds of receptors are encoded by a specific gene.If your DNA is missing a gene or if the gene is damaged, it can cause you to be unable to detect a certain smell. Professor emeritus of entomology, University of Arizona, Tucson. Maybe that’s because dogs have 220 million olfactory receptors! Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. "It gave humans an inferiority complex about our sense of smell," she said, referring to the keen sense of smell in other animals. New York, These receptors are common to arthropods, terrestrial vertebrates, fish, and other animals. Follow Tanya Lewis on Twitter and Google+. But their previous research suggests that young, Caucasian women who are non-smokers and of normal weight are the best smellers. But Bloodhounds win out as the champion sniffers of the canine world with 300 million smell receptors, a third more than the German Shepherd. Members of the deer family have something else going for them. However, she does much of this by smelling an object or animal, not by staring at it. A human has 5 million scent receptors, while a dog has about 220 million scent receptors By Nikhil Swaminathan on September 18, 2007 A single gene that codes for one odor receptor (of … The part of the brain which processes scents is almost 40% larger in a German Shepherd than in a human. Since each gene produces a different odour receptor protein, this contributes to the ability of animals to smell many different compounds. 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