Making Sense of Scents: Deciphering Our Sense of Smell; First Molecular Images of Olfaction Open Door to Creating Novel Smells

Breaking a longstanding impasse in our understanding of olfaction, scientists at UC San Francisco (UCSF) have created the first molecular-level, 3D picture of how an odor molecule activates a human odorant receptor, a crucial step in deciphering the sense of smell. The findings, appearing online March 15, 2023, in Nature, are poised to reignite interest in the science of smell with implications for fragrances, food science, and beyond. Odorant receptors--proteins that bind odor molecules on the surface of olfactory cells--make up half of the largest, most diverse family of receptors in our bodies; A deeper understanding of them paves the way for new insights about a range of biological processes.The Nature article is titled “Structural Basis of Odorant Recognition by a Human Odorant Receptor.
Login Or Register To Read Full Story