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Woman Can Smell Disease That's Very Hard to Diagnose

She may lead scientists to a 'life-changing' diagnostic test for Parkinson's

(Newser) - Joy Milne noticed a small difference in her husband just before he turned 40. "His smell changed," the Scottish woman tells the BBC . "It wasn't all of a sudden. It was very subtle—a musky smell." He was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease six years... More »

Stinky Chicken Manure Costs Golf Club Owner $100K

Neighbors claim it was payback

(Newser) - Last year, the owner of a Southern California golf club allegedly created a month-long stench in his Escondido neighborhood by spreading five tons of raw chicken manure over the closed golf course. Now, following dozens of complaints from neighbors, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports Michael Schlesinger has agreed to pay... More »

The Hidden Reason People Shake Hands

We are subconsciously sniffing our own chemosignals

(Newser) - Signaling molecules called chemosignals have been implicated in everything from the conveyance of fear to the lure to mate, and even to the synchronizing of women's menstrual cycles. Now researchers out of Israel have written in the journal eLife that one of the reasons we shake hands is to... More »

Smell of Cinnamon Can Make Us Buy Expensive Stuff

It makes us feel powerless, and that makes us want to spend: researchers

(Newser) - Shoppers, beware: Your nose could trick you into spending more than you'd planned to. That's according to a new study, which finds that fragrances linked to a feeling of warmth—cinnamon, for instance—can lead us to buy fancier items, Medical Daily reports. It's a little complicated:... More »

How Raindrops Get Their Smell

MIT researchers reveal the mechanism that releases the earthy smell of fresh rain

(Newser) - If you think rain has a distinct scent, you're not imagining it. Petrichor, that earthy smell that accompanies light showers, could be the result of raindrops releasing aerosols, which are tiny amounts of liquid suspended in gas, reports MIT News . "Rain happens every day—it’s raining now,... More »

Now You Can Smell Famous Death Scenes

Museum puts you in a morgue-like box to explore storytelling through scent

(Newser) - If you've ever wondered what it was like at the scene of someone's death, scientists in the Netherlands are taking you one morbid step closer. They've created a new and unusual museum exhibit that pipes the sounds and smells of four famous death scenes into boxes, like... More »

Why Your House Doesn't Smell —to You

Your brain can effectively 'turn off' the scent

(Newser) - Ever noticed how your friends' homes have a distinct scent—but yours doesn't? Or wondered why the smell of your perfume doesn't get to you after a while? It's essentially because your brain has noticed these scents, registered them as unproblematic, and decided to ignore them, an... More »

Elephants Win Most Discerning Nose Award

They have twice as many olfactory genes as dogs and 5 times as many as humans

(Newser) - Dogs may hold the reputation as having the best noses among mammals, but when it comes to the number of genes associated with smell, the elephant stands alone. By a mile. New findings published in Genome Research suggest that African elephants have 2,000 active olfactory genes, the highest number... More »

Now Possible: Email You Can Smell

First fragrant message 'scent' across the Atlantic

(Newser) - For the first time, a smell has been sent across the Atlantic. Scientists on Tuesday emailed a fragrant photo from Paris to the the Museum of Natural History in New York. The email featured an image of food (specifically, passion fruit macaroons, notes Yahoo! ) and champagne tagged with the... More »

Science Explains Why Bacon Smells Amazing

It's thanks to 150 chemical compounds

(Newser) - What is it about bacon that gives it that incredibly potent fragrance—the smell so many love to wake up to? Turns out researchers have actually investigated this, and chemistry blog Compound Interest (get it?) digs up the results. The smell, the site explains, is the result of 150 different... More »

Judge: Cheese Restaurant Smell Not Too Bad

Manager of Swiss fondue place told not to pay fine

(Newser) - A judge has ruled that stinky-cheese smell isn't as bad as complaining about it in a rather mean way, the Guardian reports. Florian Kurz, the manager of a Swiss fondue restaurant, won't have to pay a $225 fine after two neighboring boutique clothing stores griped about the smell—... More »

Human Nose Can Detect 1 Trillion Odors

Some people can sniff far less, and others far more, say researchers

(Newser) - Prior to today, the official scientific answer to the question, "How many scents can the human nose detect?" was a measly 10,000. But now, thanks to a new study in Science , the answer is 1 trillion, give or take. Researchers had long assumed that the first number, based... More »

Your Heart, Lungs May Be Able to Smell

They appear to have odor receptors, researchers find

(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... More »

Dogs Can Smell Lung Cancer

Scientists hope to build 'electronic nose'

(Newser) - Dogs are lung cancer detection experts, a study finds. They "have no problem identifying tumor patients," says a researcher in Austria, and that could lead to earlier diagnoses. Dogs who smelled 120 breath samples were able to sniff out cancer 70% of the time, a very "encouraging"... More »

Scientists Find 'White Noise' for Your Nose

New scent comes from blending compounds

(Newser) - Scientists have come upon a brand-new scent, and they're calling it white noise for the nostrils. Just as white light is a combination of wavelengths and white noise blends frequencies, "olfactory white" is the result of multiple compounds. Researchers arrived at their finding via a handful of experiments.... More »

Psychopaths Have a Lousy Sense of Smell

Study suggests it's no coincidence both originate in orbito-frontal complex

(Newser) - If you know someone with a terrible sense of smell, you might want to be careful around them. A new study suggests a link between a crappy olfactory and being psychopathic, AFP reports via Raw Story . Both phenomena have separately been linked to the same part of the brain, the... More »

If Sweat Doesn't Smell, Why Are We Stinky?

Turns out Bacteria is to blame for our smelly parts

(Newser) - Stuck in this week's brutal heat wave? You may be surprised to learn that sweat doesn't actually smell—and NPR has posted a video from the chemistry podcast Distillations to explain why. Turns out that there are two types of sweat glands, eccrine and apocrine; the former covers... More »

We Can Determine Personality by Smell

Our ability to judge personality is nothing to sniff at

(Newser) - You are what you reek? It turns out that we can tell a lot about someone's personality just by their smell, according to the New York Daily News . Sixty people in Poland wore the same T-shirt for three nights, and did not use soap, smoke, drink, or "eat... More »

'Pup Perfumes' Soothe Fido

Pheromones don't work for everybody, but calm some

(Newser) - Businesses are churning out pet "pheromone perfumes" to give Fido—and Puff—the kinds of smells they require to keep calm and happy. The pheromones can be sprayed, hooked up to a dog collar, and plugged into wall sockets for room coverage to diffuse chemical compounds aimed at soothing... More »

Ski Champ Concocts 'Smell of Victory'

Michelle Roark loves the smell of rose oil in the morning

(Newser) - Ski champ and chemical engineer Michelle Roark has put together a line of perfumes she insists can give athletes the winning edge. Roark, the 2009 US freestyle skiing champion, credits her scents like "Confidence"—which includes grapefruit oil and rose oil—with helping her succeed. Other scents include... More »

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