Navigation Links
No 2 people smell the same
Date:12/13/2013

DURHAM, NC -- A difference at the smallest level of DNA -- one amino acid on one gene -- can determine whether you find a given smell pleasant. A different amino acid on the same gene in your friend's body could mean he finds the same odor offensive, according to researchers at Duke University.

There are about 400 genes coding for the receptors in our noses, and according to the 1000 Genomes Project, there are more than 900,000 variations of those genes. These receptors control the sensors that determine how we smell odors. A given odor will activate a suite of receptors in the nose, creating a specific signal for the brain.

But the receptors don't work the same for all of us, said Hiroaki Matsunami, Ph.D., associate professor of molecular genetics and microbiology at the Duke University School of Medicine. In fact, when comparing the receptors in any two people, they should be about 30 percent different, said Matsunami, who is also a member of the Neurobiology Graduate Program and the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences.

"There are many cases when you say you like the way something smells and other people don't. That's very common," Matsunami said. But what the researchers found is that no two people smell things the same way. "We found that individuals can be very different at the receptor levels, meaning that when we smell something, the receptors that are activated can be very different (from one person to the next) depending on your genome."

The study didn't look at the promoter regions of the genes, which are highly variable, or gene copy number variation, which is very high in odor receptors, so the 30 percent figure for the difference between individuals is probably conservative, Matsunami said.

While researchers had earlier identified the genes that encode for odor receptors, it has been a mystery how the receptors are activated, Matsunami said. To determine what turns the receptors on, his team cloned more than 500 receptors each from 20 people that had slight variations of only one or two amino acids and systematically exposed them to odor molecules that might excite the receptors.

By exposing each receptor to a very small concentration 1, 10, or 100 micromoles of 73 odorants, such as vanillin or guaiacol, the group was able to identify 27 receptors that had a significant response to at least one odorant. This finding, published in the December issue of Nature Neuroscience, doubles the number of known odorant-activated receptors, bringing the number to 40.

Matsunami said this research could have a big impact for the flavors, fragrance, and food industries.

"These manufacturers all want to know a rational way to produce new chemicals of interest, whether it's a new perfume or new-flavored ingredient, and right now there's no scientific basis for doing that," he said. "To do that, we need to know which receptors are being activated by certain chemicals and the consequences of those activations in terms of how we feel and smell."


'/>"/>

Contact: Karl Leif Bates
karl.bates@duke.edu
919-681-8054
Duke University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Teaching about hearing can save young peoples ears
2. Study finds peoples niceness may reside in their genes
3. Southampton researchers lead 2 international projects to help people out of poverty
4. Why do people choke when the stakes are high?
5. 5-limbed brittle stars move bilaterally, like people
6. Understanding why some people have propensity to disease
7. New video series highlights the people who fuel Americas innovation pipeline
8. Tigers take the night shift to coexist with people
9. Can videogaming benefit young people with autism spectrum disorder?
10. Your body doesnt lie: People ignore political ads of candidates they oppose
11. How silver turns people blue
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
No 2 people smell the same
(Date:3/28/2017)... PUNE, India , March 28, 2017 ... (Analog, IP, Biometrics), Hardware (Camera, Monitors, Servers, Storage Devices), ... Maintenance), Vertical, and Region - Global Forecast to 2022", ... 30.37 Billion in 2016 and is projected to reach ... 15.4% between 2017 and 2022. The base year considered ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... The Controller General of Immigration from Maldives Mr. Mohamed ... received the prestigious international IAIR Award for the most innovative high security ... ... Maldives Immigration Controller General, ... picture on the right) have received the IAIR award for the "Most ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... 2017 The report "Gesture Recognition and Touchless Sensing Market ... - Global Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected to ... between 2017 and 2022. Continue Reading ... ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... April 21, 2017 , ... The University of ... round funding to three startups through the UConn Innovation Fund. The $1.5 million ... startups affiliated with UConn. , The UConn Innovation Fund provides investments of up ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... , ... April 21, 2017 , ... ... dedicated to nourishing a range of emerging bio and technology start-ups, is hosting ... 21, 2017. This double event will start with libations and networking at 3:30 ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... ... April 20, 2017 , ... ... their strategic partnership to offer a full spectrum of digital security goods and ... of biometric products and the ground-breaking proactive cybersecurity services and products through Assured ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... April 20, 2017 , ... ... to the scientific and clinical research community’s growing body of knowledge during its ... in the Gracie Theatre and the adjacent Darling Atrium. During the event, undergraduates, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: