Whether for finding food, avoiding predators or choosing a mate, the sense of smell is critical for the existence of almost all creatures. Humans are able to distinguish over 10,000 different odor molecules, utilizing our sense of smell for a multitude of activities from enjoying the aroma of freshly brewed coffee to deciding whom not to sit next to on the bus.
In the last 20 years, scientists have made great advances to our understanding of how our nose detects odor molecules and our brain processes the resulting information that gives rise to the sensation of smell.
Every time we inhale, currents of air swirl up through the nostrils, over the bony turbinates, to a “sheet” about the size of a small postage stamp that contains millions of olfactory receptor neurons. This is the olfactory epithelium.
Breaths comes in pairs except for two times in our lives – the beginning and the end.