Humans Can Distinguish at Least One Trillion Different Odors

Thursday, March 20, 2014 - 13:40 in Biology & Nature

New research shows that humans are capable of discriminating at least one trillion different odors. HHMI scientists determined that our sense of smell is prepared to recognize this vast olfactory palette after testing individuals' ability to recognize differences between complex odors mixed in the laboratory. It has been said for decades that humans were limited to distinguishing only 10,000 different odors.

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