Precise Detection by the Nose: Researchers Decipher Interaction of Fragrances and Olfactory Receptors, Ruhr-University Study

Published: Dec 14, 2011

Banana, mango or apricot -- telling these smells apart is no problem for the human nose. How the olfactory organ distinguishes such similar smells has been uncovered by an interdisciplinary team of researchers at the RUB. The scientists were the first to shed light on the dynamics of the three-dimensional structure of the binding site of an olfactory receptor. In so doing, they also found a characteristic pattern of hydrogen bonds between odorant and receptor, which accounts for the specificity of the olfactory sensors.

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