Web edition: September 19, 2012
Your sense of smell can help you identify a flower by its scent. It can alert you when the milk in the fridge has gone bad. And it can detect the telltale odor of a gas leak. Whatever the task, smell plays a major role in our understanding of the world.
That amazing ability has inspired many scientists to learn even more about how humans and other animals use their sense of smell to find food, detect danger and even communicate. Some have gone on to use that knowledge to improve our health too.
Here, we profile three scientists who focus on smell to sniff out exciting discoveries in biology, electronics and medicine.