Your Heart, Lungs May Be Able to Smell

They appear to have odor receptors, researchers find
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Apr 8, 2013 9:27 AM CDT
Can your lungs smell things?   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – While your nose sniffs that fresh espresso, your heart could well be enjoying it, too. Researchers find that the heart, lungs, and even the blood may be capable of smelling, LiveScience reports. The nose has olfactory receptors to pick up on chemical compounds traveling through the air, and it appears that those receptors are found elsewhere in the body. It's already known that sperm have odor receptors, possibly to help find the egg.

"Sensomic" researchers—who investigate aromas—put blood cells in a divided chamber; the other side contained a smell compound. The cells traveled toward the odor. But exactly what was going on remains a topic for further research. "Does this mean that, for instance, the heart 'smells' the steak you just ate? We don't know the answer to that question," says a scientist.

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