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Olfactory System

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Description

Our chemical senses, taste and smell, are our oldest senses. Long before organisms could hear or see, they needed to find nutrients, had to avoid toxic substances, and they were attracted by signaling molecules that were released by their mating partners. Right from the beginning of evolution, the task of our chemical senses was not to merely identify the chemical compounds encountered by the organism, but to directly initiate behavioral responses. This sense of smell has long remained the most enigmatic of our senses. The basic principles for recognizing and remembering about 10,000 different odors were not understood. To address the problem of olfactory perception at a molecular level, this year s Nobel Laureates Richard Axel (Howard Hughes Medical Institute, New [...]

References:

1.Olfactory receptors and odor coding in mammals.
Buck LB.
Nutr Rev. 2004 Nov; 62(11 Pt 2):S184-8; discussion S224-41.
2.The search for odorant receptors.
Buck LB.
Cell. 2004 Jan 23; 116(2 Suppl):S117-9, 1 p following S119.
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