Smelling the forest… A tree born…

Animals are much better at smelling a complex “soup” of odorants rather than a single pure ingredient, a study by the University of Sussex has revealed.

Prof Nowotny, Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange in the University of Sussex’s School of Engineering and Informatics, said: “Our study was looking at how olfactory receptors and brain structures cope with mixtures and single odorants. At first, we thought that mixtures would mean complications, but it turned out there was no extra complications and in fact, it’s usually easier to smell mixtures than single odorants and the sensing is also slightly faster. This wasn’t what we expected but this is what came out from our mathematical investigation”.

Prof Nowotny added: “Everything we take in from our environment is mixed smells, so it makes evolutionary sense that our olfactory systems would be better at those type of smells.” “Similarly, animals secrete odorant mixtures as communication signals (pheromones), so it is vital that they can quickly and accurately identify these chemical signals, so they can decode the message they are being sent”. (1)

READ ALSO:  I exist…

We were born in a forest.

Inside a vast universe.

Under the cold blue sky.

We were born in a forest.

But we can only see trees now.

We see many trees.

More and more trees.

Until there are no trees again.

Until we see the forest once more.

And it is only then…

In the deep dark forest…

That a small tree will be born again…

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