Volume 93 Issue 18 | pp. 29-30
Issue Date: May 4, 2015

Receptor Research Reignites A Smelly Debate

New data rebut vibrational theory of olfaction
Department: Science & Technology
Keywords: smell, olfaction

How exactly our sense of smell works is one of the most important, unanswered questions in sensory science. It’s also a question that has resulted in an acrimonious, nearly two-decade-long controversy.

On one side of the battle are a majority of sensory scientists who argue that our odorant receptors detect specific scent molecules on the basis of their shapes and ­chemical properties. On the other side are a handful of scientists who posit that an . . .

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