Scientists studying the sense of smell have concluded that the nose can discern far more than the 10,000 different odors long thought to be the limit. Researchers with the laboratory of Neurogenetics and Behavior at Rockefeller University in New York say their work has led them to conclude that differentiate an almost infinite number of smells, perhaps more than a trillion. They said the prevailing idea has been that the nose was somewhat limited, but in trying to determine what those limits were, they made the interesting discovery. Since smells are made up of a mixture of various odor molecules, the researchers recorded how often volunteers could discern certain smells if given all possible mixes of the 128 known odor molecules. One of the researchers, Andreas Keller said he hopes the findings will make people appreciate their sense of smell more. He added, ”I think that we evolved to discriminate very similar odors: Food – and the same food with the slightest hint of being spoiled – can be the difference between a nutritious meal and food poisoning.”—Jim L. Wilson and Jim Sandell
Sweet smell of success: human nose discerns giant array of odors, by Will Dunham, http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/20/us-science-nose-idUSBREA2J1VO20140320 Accessed March 20, 2014.
Genesis 27:27 (HCSB) So he came closer and kissed him. When Isaac smelled his clothes, he blessed him and said: Ah, the smell of my son is like the smell of a field that the LORD has blessed.