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Current Olfactory News and Events, Olfactory News Articles.
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A changing mating signal may initiate speciation in populations of Drosophila mojavensis
When choosing a mate, females of different subspecies of Drosophila mojavensis recognize the right mating partners either mainly by their song or by their smell. New species apparently evolve when the chemical mating signal is altered and when, in turn, the signal is reinterpreted by the opposite sex in the context of other signals, such as the courtship song. (2020-06-17)

Exposure to air pollution impairs cellular energy metabolism
Exposure to air particulate matter impairs the metabolism of olfactory mucosal cells, according to a recent study from the University of Eastern Finland. The results can contribute to a better understanding of how air pollutants may harm brain health, as the olfactory mucosa can act as a key pathway to the brain. (2020-06-15)

A robot to track and film flying insects
French scientists have developed the first cable-driven robot that can follow and interact with free-flying insects. With the help of this ''lab-on-cables,'' which is equipped with cameras and a controller that minimizes tracking errors between the insect's and the robot's position, they successfully studied the free flight of moths up to a speed of 3 metres/second. (2020-06-10)

To think like a dinosaur
Palaeontologists from St Petersburg University have been the first to study in detail the structure of the brain and blood vessels in the skull of the ankylosaur Bissektipelta archibaldi. It was a herbivorous dinosaur somewhat similar in appearance to a modern armadillo. (2020-06-05)

Microglia in the olfactory bulb have a nose for protecting the brain from infection
Researchers at NINDS have identified a specific, front-line defense that limits the infection to the olfactory bulb and protects the neurons of the olfactory bulb from damage due to the infection. Although the location of nasal neurons and their exposure to the outside environment make them an easy target for infection by airborne viruses, viral respiratory infections rarely make their way from the olfactory bulb to the rest of the brain, where they could cause potentially fatal encephalitis. (2020-06-05)

How a male fly knows when to make a move on a mate
Like people, fruit flies must decide when conditions are right to make a move on a mate. Males use age and odors to gauge their chances of success, but how they do that on a molecular level was a mystery. The answer lies, in part, in their DNA. Researchers find that the scent of other flies and internal hormones alter the activity of a gene that controls how turned on male flies are by pheromones. (2020-05-22)

Loss of smell associated with milder clinical course in COVID-19
Researchers at UC San Diego Health report in newly published findings that olfactory impairment suggests the resulting COVID-19 disease is more likely to be mild to moderate, a potential early indicator that could help health care providers determine which patients may require hospitalization. (2020-04-27)

Coffee changes our sense of taste
Sweet food is even sweeter when you drink coffee. This is shown by the result of research from Aarhus University. The results have just been published in the scientific journal Foods. (2020-04-21)

Scents regulate fat storage without affecting eating behavior
Researchers discovered that, in the lab worm C. elegans, certain scents dynamically regulate fat mobilization by interacting with specific olfactory neurons through specific receptors. (2020-04-16)

NIH BRAIN Initiative tool helps researchers watch neural activity in 3D
Our ability to study networks within the nervous system has been limited by the tools available to observe large volumes of cells at once. An ultra-fast, 3D imaging technique called SCAPE microscopy, developed through the National Institutes of Health (NIH)'s Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Technologies (BRAIN) Initiative, allows a greater volume of tissue to be viewed in a way that is much less damaging to delicate networks of living cells. (2020-04-13)

Rats give more generously in response to the smell of hunger
How do animals that help their brethren manage to prioritize those most in need? A study publishing March 24 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology by Karin Schneeberger and colleagues of the universities of Bern in Switzerland and Potsdam in Germany, shows that rats can use odor cues alone to determine how urgently to provide food assistance to other rats in need. (2020-03-24)

Researchers sniff out AI breakthroughs in mammal brains
New Cornell research explains some of these functions through a computer algorithm inspired by the mammalian olfactory system. The algorithm both sheds light on how the brain works and, applied to a computer chip, rapidly and reliably learns patterns better than existing machine learning models. (2020-03-16)

NCAM2 protein plays a decisive role in the formation of structures for cognitive learning
The molecule NCAM2, a glycoprotein from the superfamily of immunoglobulins, is a vital factor in the formation of the cerebral cortex, neuronal morphogenesis and formation of neuronal circuits in the brain, as stated in the new study published in the journal Cerebral Cortex. The deficit of NCAM2 causes an incorrect migration of neurons and alters the morphology, cytoskeleton and functionality of these cells in the central nervous system. (2020-03-13)

Banded mongoose study reveals how its environment influences the spread of infectious disease
A new study led by Kathleen Alexander explores the ways that landscapes can influence animal behavior, fostering dynamics that either encourage or limit the spread of infectious diseases. (2020-03-12)

'Zombie' brain cells develop into working neurons
Preventing the death of neurons during brain growth means these 'zombie' cells can develop into functioning neurons, according to research in fruit flies from the Crick, the University of Lausanne (UNIL) and the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology. (2020-03-11)

Researchers discover a previously unappreciated neurotransmitter system in the brain
Within this system, the transmission of signals between neurons in the brain occurs via the trace amine-associated receptor 5 (TAAR5). The results of the study will allow the development of new types of drugs for depression, schizophrenia and anxiety disorders. (2020-03-05)

Mother nose best: Child body odor provides olfactory clues to developmental stages
A child's body odor can help a mother fall in love with her child -- and signal when it's time for the mother-child bond to grow up. New research published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology now suggests that a mom's olfactory sense may be capable of detecting her child's developmental stage. The findings could have long-term implications for treatment of conditions like postpartum bonding disorders. (2020-03-04)

Men can smell when a woman is sexually aroused
University of Kent research suggests that men can distinguish between the scents of sexually aroused and non-aroused women. The detection of sexual arousal through smell may function as an additional channel in the communication of sexual interest and provide further verification of human sexual interest. (2020-03-03)

How does the brain put decisions in context? Study finds unexpected brain region at work
When crossing the street, which way do you first turn your head to check for oncoming traffic? This decision depends on the context of where you are. A group of scientists at Columbia's Zuckerman Institute has been studying how animals use context when making decisions. And now, their latest findings have tied this ability to an unexpected brain region in mice, previously thought to primarily guide and plan movement. (2020-02-27)

Insects' ability to smell is phenomenally diverse, a new protein structure hints at how
Even though they don't have conventional noses, insects have adapted to smell odors in nearly every imaginable niche. Mosquitoes find us by our odor molecules binding to odor receptors on their antennae, bees are drawn to flowers the same way, whereas ticks detect an approaching host using receptors on their forelegs. (2020-02-15)

DGIST increased the possibility of early diagnosis for neuro-developmental disorders
DGIST identified causes of hypersensitivity accompanied by neurodevelopmental disorder such as autism-spectrum disorder (ASD). This is expected to make huge contributions to the early diagnosis of sensory-defective symptom brought with neurodevelopmental disorder and cancer as well as the improvement of anti-cancer drug side effects. (2020-02-14)

Hard times are coming: Brain tissue stiffness is crucial for neurogenesis
In mammalian adult brains, neural stem cells are only present in few specific parts, so called niches. Only these niches are capable of generating new neurons. For the first time, researchers defined the proteome of these niches, the entire set of expressed proteins, and compared it to other regions of the brain. The findings help to identify key regulators for neurogenesis, an important step towards activating neurogenesis after brain injuries. (2020-02-06)

Research zeroing in on electronic nose for monitoring air quality, diagnosing disease
Research has pushed science closer to developing an electronic nose for monitoring air quality, detecting safety threats and diagnosing diseases by measuring gases in a patient's breath. (2020-01-30)

Sex pheromone named for Jane Austen character alters brain in mouse courtship
The infamously aloof Mr. Darcy had a hard time attracting members of the opposite sex in Jane Austen's 'Pride and Prejudice.' But the same cannot be said for a sex pheromone named for him, called darcin. In a new study, a Columbia University-led team of researchers has now uncovered the process by which this protein takes hold in the brains of female mice, giving brain cells the power to assess the mouse's sexual readiness and help her select a mate. (2020-01-29)

A single gene for scent reception separates two species of orchid bees
Orchid bees are master perfumers. Males collect chemicals to concoct perfumes unique to their specific species. In a study appearing in Nature Communications, UC Davis researchers link the evolution of sexual signaling in orchid bees to a single gene shaped by species' perfume preferences. (2020-01-13)

Chemical compound found in essential oils improves wound healing, IU study finds
Indiana University researchers have discovered that a chemical compound found in essential oils improves the healing process in mice when it is topically applied to a skin wound. (2019-12-18)

Respiration key to increase oxygen in the brain
Contrary to accepted knowledge, blood can bring more oxygen to mice brains when they exercise because the increased respiration packs more oxygen into the hemoglobin, according to an international team of researchers who believe that this holds true for all mammals. (2019-12-04)

How mantis shrimp make sense of the world
A new study provides insight into how the small brains of mantis shrimp - fierce predators with keen vision that are among the fastest strikers in the animal kingdom - are able to make sense of a breathtaking amount of visual input. (2019-11-25)

An exception to the rule: An intact sense of smell without a crucial olfactory brain structure
A handful of left-handed women have excellent senses of smell, despite lacking olfactory bulbs. (2019-11-11)

Typical olfactory bulbs might not be necessary for smell, case study suggests
A team of researchers have uncovered a sliver of the population who have no apparent olfactory bulbs yet can somehow still smell. Extensive tests of two of these people proved they could identify, detect, and discriminate between odors as well as the average person, according to a paper published Nov. 6 in the journal Neuron. (2019-11-06)

New insights into how the brain perceives and processes odors
New research makes advances in understanding how smells are perceived and represented in the brain. The findings were presented at Neuroscience 2019, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience and the world's largest source of emerging news about brain science and health. (2019-10-22)

Findings bridge knowledge gap between pheromone sensitivity and courtship
Neurobiologists have made a series of discoveries about fruit fly fertility and smell. The findings solve a long-standing puzzle of whether and how courtship-promoting signals are amplified by olfactory receptor neurons, or ORNs. The researchers found that a channel known as PPK25 amplifies courtship signals in the ORNs of male flies. Biologically, PPK25 heightens males' sensitivity to their mates' odors at the age of peak fertility, thus promoting courtship when flies are most fertile. (2019-10-16)

Craving junk food after a sleepless night?
When you're sleep deprived, you reach for doughnuts and pizza. A new study has figured out why you crave more calorie-dense, high-fat foods after a sleepless night. Blame it on your sleepy nose -- or olfactory system. First, it goes into hyperdrive, sharpening the food odors for the brain. But then there is a breakdown in communication with brain areas that receive food signals. Then decisions about what to eat change. (2019-10-08)

Analyses of newborn babies' head odors suggest importance in facilitating bonding
A team led by Kobe University Professor Mamiko Ozaki has become the first to identify the chemical makeup of the odors produced by newborn babies' heads. The results shed more light on the olfactory importance of newborns' heads in mother-baby and kin recognition. They also developed a non-invasive and stress-free method of sampling these odors directory from heads of the babies. Research into these odors can hopefully be utilized in the prevention of issues such as infant neglect and attachment disorders. (2019-09-27)

Stem cells with 'dual identity' linked to loss of smell from sinus inflammation
In experiments with mice and human tissue samples, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers report evidence that neuronal stem cells in the part of the nose responsible for the sense of smell transform themselves to perpetuate the long-term inflammation in chronic sinusitis. Results of the study, they say, suggest that the stem cells' ability to switch their identity to join in the immune response may serve as a protective mechanism, while preserving the potential to regenerate the sense of smell tissue once the inflammation resolves. (2019-09-19)

Calcium channel blockers may be effective in treating memory loss in Alzheimer's disease
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia but the changes in brain cell function underlying memory loss remains poorly understood. Researchers at the University of Bristol have identified that calcium channel blockers may be effective in treating memory loss. (2019-09-11)

Olfactory and auditory stimuli change the perception of our body
A pioneering investigation developed by the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) alongside the University of Sussex and University College London, shows that olfactory stimuli combined with auditory stimuli can change our perception of our body. These results provide new knowledge in the field of cognitive neuroscience and human-computer interaction. (2019-09-11)

As light as a lemon: How the right smell can help with a negative body image
The scent of a lemon could help people feel better about their body image, new findings from University of Sussex research has revealed. (2019-09-05)

New information on regulation of sense of smell with the help of nematodes
PIM kinases are enzymes that are evolutionarily well conserved in both humans and nematodes. Led by Dr Päivi Koskinen, a research group from the Department of Biology of the University of Turku in Finland has previously proven that PIM kinases promote the motility and survival of cancer cells, but now the group has shown that these enzymes also regulate the sense of smell. (2019-08-27)

How to tell if you've found Mr. or Mrs. Right? For lemurs, it's in their B.O.
Many people turn to the Internet to find a Mr. or Ms. Right. But lemurs don't have to cyberstalk potential love interests to find a good match -- they just give them a sniff. A study of lemur scents finds that an individual's distinctive body odor reflects genetic differences in their immune system, and that other lemurs can detect these differences by smell. The ability could help their offspring fight more pathogens, researchers say. (2019-08-27)

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