Patients with chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) who quit smoking will see their condition improve over a period of about 10 years, according to the results of a new study led by the Sinus Center at Mass. Eye and Ear.
UC Berkeley researchers developed ways to temporarily eliminate the sense of smell in adult mice, and discovered that those mice that lost smell could eat a high-fat diet and stay a normal weight, while littermates that retained the sense of smell ballooned to twice normal weight. Supersmellers gained more weight than did normal mice on the same high-fat diet. Smell-deficient mice burned excess fat instead of storing it, suggesting a link between smell and metabolism.
Mice engineered to lack a sense of smell lose weight on a high-fat diet, researchers report July 5 in the journal Cell Metabolism. The mice ate just as much as counterparts with unaltered senses, yet lost an average of about 16 percent of their body weight. The weight loss was almost entirely from fat. In addition, mice with an enhanced sense of smell gain more weight than mice with typical olfactory abilities despite similar diets.
A study by a group of Japanese scientists showed how a male pheromone in mice enhances sexual behaviors in females -- and how it may enhance a different behavior, aggression, in males -- by identifying distinct neural circuits and neurons that generate a particular behavioral response to specific chemical signals. The findings point to a model for further investigating how sex-specific innate behaviors in living things are controlled.
A new study from the Monell Center and collaborating institutions advances understanding of how stem cells on the tongue grow into the different types of mature taste cells that detect either sweet, salty, sour, bitter, or umami. By identifying novel genes and molecular pathways involved in shaping a taste cell's function, these findings may someday allow scientists to treat taste disorders, characterize new taste qualities, or even fine-tune taste perception to encourage healthier eating.
New research suggests that sour-sensing taste cells also help us detect, or taste, water.
Single-cell RNA sequencing has allowed researchers to identify adult stem cells as they transform into mature cells, but the process becomes complicated when stem cells can transform into several different types of cells. UC Berkeley neuroscientists teamed with statisticians and computer scientists to improve the analysis of their experimental results, and were able to track stem cell fates in the nose as olfactory stem cells differentiated into sensory neurons and support cells.
The assertion that animals have a better sense of smell than humans is a 19th century myth with no scientific proof, says Rutgers University-New Brunswick neuroscientist John McGann who spent part of the last year reviewing existing research, examining data and delving into the historical writings that helped create the long-held misconception.
Studies have shown that loss of the sense of smell can be among the first warning signs of diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Now a researcher at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania wants to shift the search for clues about this process back even further, to find out if there is a common factor responsible for the loss of smell that may also serve as an early warning signal for a number of neurodegenerative diseases.
Researchers from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and their collaborators have shown that receptors in the noses of mice exposed to certain smells during life are different to genetically similar mice that lived without those smells. Published today in eLife, the study found it is this combination of genetics and experience that gives each individual a unique sense of smell.