l - 00077 - 16 HHMI BULLETIN | February 2007 “ouR SenSoRy...

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Unformatted text preview: 16 HHMI BULLETIN | February 2007 “ouR SenSoRy expeRienceS RepReSent a Beautifully oRcheStRated ReSponSe to a wide Range of Stimuli.” tWENTY-FvE YEArs AGO, the physician and writer Lewis Thomas predicted that the progress of biological research would be measured by how long it took to gain a complete understanding of odor. “It may not seem a profound enough problem to domi- nate all the life sciences,” he observed, “but it contains, piece by piece, all the mysteries.” How an organism recognizes a “vast universe” of odors is indeed “a fascinating problem in molecular recognition and perceptual discrimination,” agrees Richard Axel, an HHMI investigator at New York’s Columbia University. Put simply, how do we know what we’re smelling? Scientists are exploring this ques- tion in everything from worms to fruit flies to mice to humans, bringing a variety of new molecular tools and computational methods to bear. Only in the last decade and a half, scien- tists, including Axel and HHMI investigator Linda Buck at Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, have begun...
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This note was uploaded on 10/06/2010 for the course BIOLOGY Food scien taught by Professor Dr.johnson during the Spring '10 term at Berkeley.

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