Flutterby™! : Smells like teen spirit?

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Smells like teen spirit?

2007-09-19 12:52:37.37968+00 by Dan Lyke 2 comments

Scientific American has a short bit on a study published in Nature that claims a gene responsible for how we smell androstenone.

Matsunami's team found two variations (or alleles) of the gene associated with different characterizations of androstenone's smell: Subjects with two "normal" copies of the gene, about 62 percent of the study population, described androstenone's aroma as having an intense, unpleasant odor similar to that of urine. If a person had one of each allele, he or she described the scent as ranging from imperceptible to unpleasant, but not intense.

Only 10 of the study participants had two copies of the mutated gene, according to Hanyi Zhuang, a graduate student in Matsunami's lab. "[These] subjects indeed show even lower intensity ratings to androstenone and androstadienone in our study," she says, and even described the smell of the steroids as sweet, like vanilla. The fact that some [of these] subjects could smell androstenone, she continues, "suggests additional odorant receptors are activated by these chemicals."

[ related topics: Interactive Drama Nature and environment Bioinformatics ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2007-09-19 13:39:03.405902+00 by: ebradway

Chances are, that study is wrong.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-09-19 13:55:23.287706+00 by: Dan Lyke

Well, yeah, but it reaffirms my preconceived notions, so I'm going to promulgate the meme [giggle].