Liman Lecture 3 for BISC 421 olfaction_2009_post

Liman Lecture 3 for BISC 421 olfaction_2009_post - Chemical...

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Chemical Senses Smell – detects food, danger, other animals at a distance. Taste – detects ingested chemicals and discriminates nutritious from toxic Vomeronasal -detects pheromones
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Anatomy of the olfactory system Odorant inward current depolarization Action potential Olfactory epithelium – contains sensory neurons. Extensive surface area, lining bony turbinates increases contact between air and sensory neurons Cribiform plate – bone through which olfactory neurons send axons. During head injury, axons can easily be sheared, but since olfactory neurons regenerate loss of smell should be temporary Olfactory bulb – first relay station for sensory information
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How can humans can detect so many different odorants (10,000)? Structures of some common odorants We can detect 1 part per billion
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How can we discriminate among enantiomers? d-Carvone (caraway seeds) l-Carvone (spearmint)
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Odorant receptors Possible mechanisms to explain discrimination: Few receptors (say10-30); combinatorial code of
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Liman Lecture 3 for BISC 421 olfaction_2009_post - Chemical...

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