Nose divides sweet from foul

Segregation of scent detectors suggests innate preferences

By Nick Bascom, 15:30 PM September 23, 2011

Even the inside of the nose can be a little cliquish. Like birds of a feather, nasal molecules that respond to pleasant smells flock together, keeping their distance from sensor molecules that pick up unpleasant smells.

Sensor molecules, or receptors, appear to be organized according to the pleasantness (or unpleasantness) of the odors they sense, a new study finds. For example, locations in the nose that respond strongly to one fragrant aroma will respond strongly to other delectable smell...

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