What does a smell scientist do?

What does a smell scientist do?

Smelly experiments!

Would you crawl around on your hands and knees to investigate your sense of smell?

Some animals have an amazing sense of smell - rats and dogs, for example. Dogs can detect smells around 1,000 times better than we can!

Some scientists are investigating whether we can train our noses to detect more smells. Can our sense of smell really improve?

Scientists at the University of California persuaded people to put on blindfolds and ear defenders to see whether they could sniff out a string covered in chocolate oil, laid in a trail along the grass.  At first, people were pretty rubbish. But with practice, many people did manage to follow the trail all the way to the end, even when it wasn't straight. Perhaps we can train our noses to better detect some smells after all!

To find out more about this experiment and our sense of smell have a look at The unsung sense: How smell rules your life on the New Scientist website and have a go at our Nobody Nose quiz.

Curriculum information

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