Thursday, May 6, 2010

Olfactory Evolution

You know that song - History Repeating? 
There's something evolving
Whatever may come, the world keeps revolving

My mind jumped to it when I read that human beings are rapidly losing their sense of smell.

According to science reporter Nicholas Wade
"more than 60% of olfactory genes in people are now inactive." 
To put that into perspective . . . . that's over half of the 1000 genes that control the production of smell receptors in our noses.  They are now turned off.

It is surmised that the gradual nasal shutdown began when we stopped hunting to survive and settled into farming villages. You know, when we started growing food rather than gathering it. Our sense of smell did not need to be as powerful as it was given our new tasks.

Interestingly enough, it seems that that our dulled sense of smell has coincided with improved vision.

You can read the full article: Stopping Smelling the Roses by, Natalie Wolchover, here
But before you click along on your Internet travels stop for a moment and plan a time today to really, truly go smell the roses. 
Note - audio only :-)

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