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How do we smell? The answer lies in the 1,000 or so genes that encode what's known as olfactory receptors inside our noses.

This gene superfamily constitutes 3 to 6 percent of a mammal's genes.

But scientists don't completely understand what odors bind to which receptors, and how this complex process translates into interpreting a particular smell.

In fact, little is known about how olfactory receptors function in mammals, or how this large gene family has evolved in ...

More at http://www.nsf.gov/discoveries/disc_summ.jsp?cntn_id=130600&WT.mc_id=USNSF_51&WT.mc_ev=click


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