What does the moon smell like?

I've never smelled moondust, and I was intrigued by this question posted at Nasa.gov: What does the moon smell like? Gunpowder, according to Apollo 17 astronaut Gene Cernan. The closest I've come to smelling moondust was on a recent visit to meteor research lab at the University of California … [Read more...]

Common chemical sense

I've heard of common sense, but common chemical sense? Turns out that the human sense of smell includes a third pathway, called the common chemical sense.* (The other two are the olfactory sense and the nose-throat pathway.) Common chemical sense works through thousands of nerve endings on the … [Read more...]

Super sense combines smell with taste

Our senses of smell and taste are anatomically different senses, with smell detection happening in the nose and taste happening on the tongue through taste buds. Yet they work together forming a super sense, something foodies and food makers know well. But how? Turns out we humans have something … [Read more...]

How does the olfactory sense work?

smell receptor image

You breathe in deep, and you might get a whiff of shampoo or maybe stale coffee breath on the person next to you. It's the kind of information that the brain just registers. So how, exactly, does the sense of smell work? Our noses are equipped with special receptors located in a small area at the … [Read more...]