Smell: the Secret Sense

Eiting_poster_smallTom Eiting reminded us why our sense of smell might be the most interesting of our senses.  Thanks for showing us the big bat skull (and nasal cavity) printed on a 3D printer, and tricking us into thinking our coconut jelly-beans tasted merely of sugar.

We are also pleased to report back on our stumper of a question!  Here’s the question, and what Tom reports back:


Q: What causes people to be born without a sense of smell?

A: There are several factors that can cause people to be born without a sense of small (“congenital anosmia”). One such factor is that it is associated with people who have other disorders, such as Kallman syndrome. When congential anosmia occurs in the absence of other disorders, it is called “isolated congenital anosmia.” In cases such as this (which are extremely rare), it is thought that there are genetic or developmental errors that prevent the olfactory system from forming properly.