illustration of human brain
COVID-19 Linked to Neural Changes
A study that examined the brains of people before and after SARS-CoV-2 infection found a decrease in brain volume and damage to olfactory areas compared with controls.
ABOVE: © ISTOCK.COM, DA-KUK
COVID-19 Linked to Neural Changes
COVID-19 Linked to Neural Changes

A study that examined the brains of people before and after SARS-CoV-2 infection found a decrease in brain volume and damage to olfactory areas compared with controls.

A study that examined the brains of people before and after SARS-CoV-2 infection found a decrease in brain volume and damage to olfactory areas compared with controls.

ABOVE: © ISTOCK.COM, DA-KUK

olfaction

Photograph of a hummingbird
Even the Tiniest of Birds Use Smell in Some Situations
Jef Akst | Jan 4, 2022
Once considered anosmic, birds are now widely recognized as using olfactory cues to aid in a wide range of behaviors.
A close-up of a fruit fly head with antenna clearly visible in front of its red eyes
Bacterial Infections Disrupt Flies’ Sense of Smell
Abby Olena | Jul 21, 2021
The temporary loss of olfaction stops the flies from eating any more of whatever it is that made them sick.
The Scientist Speaks Podcast - Episode 12
The Scientist Creative Services Team | Dec 22, 2020
Decoding Smell: Demystifying Human Disease and Behavior
a close up photo of a black dog nose with blond and white whiskers
Dogs: The New COVID-19 Rapid Test
Kerry Grens | May 24, 2021
Two studies this month point to pooches’ quick detection of SARS-CoV-2 on material that touched the skin of infected participants, although the pups’ accuracy does not match that of RT-PCR.
dogs, olfaction, smell, prostate cancer, volatiles, diagnosis, disease, canine
Watch a Trained Pup Detect Prostate Cancer From a Urine Sample
Asher Jones | Feb 18, 2021
Good girl, Florin!
dogs, olfaction, smell, prostate cancer, volatiles, diagnosis, disease, canine
Dogs Are Teaching Machines to Sniff Out Cancer
Asher Jones | Feb 18, 2021
In a proof-of-concept study, researchers used dogs’ diagnoses of prostate cancer to inform a machine learning algorithm with the goal of one day detecting cancers with canine-level accuracy.
The Brain’s Immune Cells Stand Sentinel Against Viral Invasion
Ashley Yeager | Oct 1, 2020
Some viruses, possibly even SARS-CoV-2, can sneak into the brain through the nose. Recent studies show that microglia are ready for them when they do.
Researchers Make Mice Smell Odors that Aren’t Really There
Ruth Williams | Jun 18, 2020
Using optogenetics, scientists have simulated the sense of smell directly within the mouse brain to investigate the nature of olfactory perception.
Image of the Day: Olfactory Capacities
Amy Schleunes | Apr 15, 2020
Most small amphibious mammals have a diminished sense of smell, a quality that likely arose because of a tradeoff with thermoregulation capacities that allowed them to conserve heat in aquatic environments.
Smell May Be Possible Without Olfactory Bulbs
Jef Akst | Nov 6, 2019
A study identifies five women who have a functioning sense of smell despite an apparent lack of olfactory bulbs—the region of the brain that processes odors.
LED flight simulator for mosquitos
Image of the Day: Mosquito Flight Simulator
Nicoletta Lanese | Jul 30, 2019
Carbon dioxide pumped into a bright chamber mimics a breathing host for the pest to target.
olfaction sense of smell stem cell olfactory sensory neurons
Stem Cells Delivered to the Nose Restore Mice’s Ability to Smell
Kerry Grens | May 30, 2019
The introduced cells engrafted in the nose, became olfactory sensory neurons, and sent axons to the animals’ brains.
notebook
A Keen Sense of Smell Appears to Go Hand in Hand with Spatial Memory
Shawna Williams | Feb 1, 2019
Authors of a small study say the two abilities likely evolved in tandem.
Zapping the Olfactory Bulb Produces Phantom Smells
Shawna Williams | Nov 27, 2018
Researchers envision a cochlear implant–like device for the nose to give people with impaired olfaction a sense of smell.
Image of the Day: Scatterbrain
Sukanya Charuchandra | Aug 2, 2018
Distributed neuronal networks help the brain sort smells.
Meet the Arachnid That May Add a New Chapter to the Book on Sensory Biology
Mary Bates | Dec 1, 2017
The whip spider senses the world in weird and wonderful ways.
Study: Autism Linked with Different Reactions to Chemical Signals
Shawna Williams | Nov 27, 2017
Responses to compounds in human sweat may help explain why people with autism spectrum disorder tend to struggle with social cues.
Olfaction Determines Weight in Mice
Diana Kwon | Jul 5, 2017
Animals lacking a sense of smell stayed thinner than their smelling counterparts, despite eating the same amount.
Entire Fruit Fly Brain Imaged with Electron Microscopy
Ashley Yeager | May 31, 2017
Synaptic connections and a new neuron type emerge in high-res images, which hold promise for mapping the complete connectome.