How a Human Smell Receptor Works Is Finally Revealed

By Wynne Parry

For the first time, researchers have determined how a human olfactory receptor captures an airborne scent molecule, the pivotal chemical event that triggers our sense of smell. In a recent paper published in Nature, a team of researchers led by Duke's Hiro Matsunami, delineated the elusive three-dimensional structure of one of these receptors in the act of holding its quarry, in this case, a compound that contributes to the aroma of Swiss cheese and body odor.

Read the full article in Quanta Magazine.