Smell

Shoes sprout flowers when planted

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: February 25, 2011   View Article

Your old sneakers may smell like something found only in fetid corners of nature, but chances are there’s plenty that’s not natural about them. A pair of Dutch entrepreneurs wants to change that. They’ve created a fully biodegradable shoe that will sprout flowers when planted at the end of their life.

Elephants Distinguish Human Friends From Foes by Smell

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: October 18, 2007   View Article

The mere whiff of a Maasai man’s clothing is enough to strike fear in African elephants and send them thundering to the safety of tall grasses, according to a new study.

Maasai men have been known to occasionally spear elephants, perhaps as a ritual to show virility.

Moles, Shrews Can Smell Prey While Underwater, Study Suggests

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: December 20, 2006   View Article

Get a whiff of this: Two small, semiaquatic mammals can use their sense of smell even when underwater, according to a new study.

The finding stems from high-speed video that shows a star-nosed mole rapidly blowing out bubbles of air and sucking them back in while foraging underwater.

Rats Smell in Stereo, Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: February 3, 2006   View Article

Eew, where’s that smell coming from?

If you could ask a rat, it could locate the direction of the stench’s source in a single sniff, scientists report in a new study.

Rats accomplish this feat by effectively smelling in stereo: Each nostril operates independently of the other, sending different signals to the brain that are then computed to determine the direction of the odor.

Lobsters Use Smell Test to ID Buddies, Bullies

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: January 13, 2006   View Article

Jelle Atema says when he first encountered lobsters as a young marine biologist in the 1970s, he was surprised at how peaceful the giant-clawed crustaceans behaved toward each other.

“I’d swim around and see lobsters meet each other, give a display, raise their claws. But there was not much fighting,” the professor at Boston University’s Marine Program in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, said.

Now he understands that those lobsters already knew each other. A few swishes of their small antennae were all they needed to pick up the other’s scent and recall their earlier battle that established who was dominant.

Synthetic Fragrances Harmful to Marine Life, Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: July 11, 2005   View Article

Synthetic fragrances commonly added to perfumes, soaps, shampoos, and dozens of other personal health care products are proving harmful to the marine environment and potentially to humans as well, according to marine scientists.

Also known as synthetic musks, the chemical compounds reportedly compromise a cellular defense mechanism that normally prevents toxins from entering cells. The mechanism is controlled by efflux transporter proteins embedded in cell membranes.

Ramp Fests Add Flavor, Stench, to Appalachian Spring

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: April 29, 2005   View Article

On Sunday, Cathey Owens vows to give the ramps on her dinner plate to the first person who will take the onionlike herbs. With upward of 3,000 people expected to attend the 52nd annual Cosby Ramp Festival in Cosby, Tennessee, finding a taker should be easy.

“If you eat one, you’re going to stink, and the more you eat, the more you’re going to stink,” said Owens, who is helping to organize the annual event in Cosby.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach