December 15, 2006
Controversial Theory gets Green Light from Physicists ~ JR Minkel
Adapted from the Scientific American article at: www.sciam.com (Search: Smell)
The question: What property of an odor molecule (the odorant) do our nose receptors pick up?
The popular – but still unproved – explanation of smell assumes that shape is the factor, with receptors fitting like a lock into the molecule’s key. But the shape theory doesn’t explain why some nearly identically shaped molecules smell vastly different…