Snot has the power to alter scents

Mice studies show sense of smell can be modified by mucus

By Laura Sanders, 16:41 PM November 30, 2010

A rose sniffed through a snotty nose may not smell so sweet. Enzymes in mice’s nasal mucus transform certain scents before the nose can detect them, a new study finds. The results, published December 1 in the Journal of Neuroscience, show that lowly mucus may feature prominently in the sense of smell.

“It is completely unexpected that snot would play a potential role in changing how we perceive odors,” says neuroscientist Leslie Vosshall at Rockefeller University in New York City. “Most peop...

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