Varied smelling ability linked to genes

08/1/2013 | Nature (free content)

Scientists at the New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research sequenced test subjects' genomes to see if they could predict an individual's smelling ability, and found clusters of genes that reliably predicted the person's ability to smell four of 10 chemicals. "All of these genes are on different chromosomes, acting independently, so all these different people -- even just for these four compounds -- are having totally different experiences of the chemical world through their sense of smell," said geneticist Richard Newcomb.

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