When you love the sense of smell…

Linda Brown Buck sitting at a desk with a microscope

Linda Brown Buck, a Washington born American Biologist received the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for her work on olfactory receptors. In 1980, she set out to map the olfactory process at the molecular level asking how the nose and brain detect and interpret pheromones and odors. Her landmark work, with Richard Axel, discovered hundreds of genes code for odorant sensors located in the olfactory neurons of the nose. Their discovery showed that odors attach to a receptor signaling the brain and estimated approximately 1,000 different genes for olfactory receptors. Buck and Axel’s research shows that each olfactory receptor neurons only express one receptor protein. Those cookies you smell…your brain knows, based on one single protein dedicated within your nose, to tell you they’ll be delicious.