Human noses know more than 1 trillion odors
Smell played an underappreciated role in evolution
By Bruce Bower, 13:39 PM March 20, 2014
Respect the nose. Humans use it to tell apart an average of more than 1 trillion odors, a new study finds.
That estimate of smell’s reach vastly exceeds the roughly several million colors and 340,000 tones a typical person can distinguish, reports a team led by geneticist Leslie Vosshall of Rockefeller University in New York City. A decades-old claim that humans discriminate only about 10,000 odors had not been systematically tested until now, the scientists say in the March 21 Science.
Source URL: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/human-noses-know-more-1-trillion-odors?mode=magazine&context=187892