AChems Members in the News

In an effort to highlight chemosensory science and scientists, we welcome and encourage AChemS members to let us know about any of your chemical senses accomplishments. Please let us know about any contributions that have been recognized by a third party such as newspapers, radio, science news websites, etc. Send your information to the AChemS executive office (info@achems.org) to potentially be published on the AChemS website.

Building a Silicon Brain

In 2012, computer scientist Dharmendra Modha used a powerful supercomputer to simulate the activity of more than 500 billion neurons—more, even, than the 85 billion or so neurons in the human brain. It was the culmination of almost a decade of work, as Modha progressed from simulating the brains of rodents and cats to something on the scale of humans.

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It’s not your fault that you eat so much sugar

Americans tend to associate our health problems with sin. It’s hard to find a health story in the press that doesn’t blame greed and lack of willpower for our ongoing epidemics of obesity and diabetes as well as a recent upturn in the rate of heart disease. But the problems stem more from a greedy food industry than from any weakness in consumers. Our supermarket shelves are filled with items made with cheap ingredients, especially sugar and corn syrup, whether people want it or not.

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Stem Cells Delivered to the Nose Restore Mice’s Ability to Smell

In mice whose sense of smell has been disabled, a squirt of stem cells into the nose can restore olfaction, researchers report today (May 30) in Stem Cell Reports. The introduced “globose basal cells,” which are precursors to smell-sensing neurons, engrafted in the nose, matured into nerve cells, and sent axons to the mice’s olfactory bulbs in the brain.

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You Will Never Smell My World the Way I Do

The scent of lily of the valley cannot be easily bottled. For decades companies that make soap, lotions and perfumes have relied on a chemical called bourgeonal to imbue their products with the sweet smell of the little white flowers. A tiny drop can be extraordinarily intense.
If you can smell it at all, that is. For a small percentage of people, it fails to register as anything.

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Smells delicious: our tongues can detect odours, study suggests

The tongue does not just detect taste, but might pick up on odours too, according to research shedding new light on how we perceive flavour.
The tongue has long been known to detect whether something tastes sweet, sour, salty, bitter or umami (savouriness) thanks to cells that carry taste receptors – proteins that interact with particular molecules in food.

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Why scientists are studying sommeliers’ brains

Twenty-five sommelier students outperformed an untrained ‘control’ group of 29 people at identifying a range of common wine aromas within around two months of education, according to a study recently published in the journal Chemosensory Perception.

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Airlines take flight with branded scents

Will new airplane aromas help make flights more pleasant?

United frequent flier Katherine Wenglikowski loathes the stinky smell of public bathrooms, but she was pleasantly surprised by what she found in the lavatory on a recent United Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Newark, N.J. The aroma of grapefruit.

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Smell, Your Least Appreciated Sense

Your emotions are directly tied to the smells you experience. Join Rachel as she takes you on a tour of how smell affects the lives of everyone, from finding your spouse to survival.

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Neuroscientists find brain pathway supporting an intersection of taste and pain

Neuroscientists have found a pathway in the brain where taste and pain intersect in a new study that originally was designed to look at the intersection of taste and food temperature. This study was the first time researchers have shown that taste and pain signals come together in the brain and use the same circuitry.

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Mass. Eye and Ear doctors send electrical signals into brain to create sensation of smells

Doctors at Massachusetts Eye and Ear say they’ve placed electrodes in the nose to stimulate people’s brains and cause them to smell onions and other smells that weren’t there, in an experiment that could be a first step toward a treatment someday of anosmia, the loss of the sense of smell.

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Why we like sparkling water: The science behind the fizz

The popularity of sparkling water has been bubbling up in the United States recently — Americans will buy more than 800 million gallons of it this year, according to one estimate.
But why do people like it?

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Sweet Smell

Harvard Medical School researchers at Massachusetts Eye and Ear have, for the first time, induced a sense of smell in humans by using electrodes in the nose to stimulate nerves in the olfactory bulb, a structure in the brain where information received from the nose is processed and sent to deeper regions of the brain.

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