The human nose can sense 10 basic smells

We’ve got categories to describe our perceptions of taste, colors, and sounds. But things aren’t as clear-cut when it comes to our sense of smell. Looking to overcome this surprising limitation, a team of researchers have proposed a list of 10 basic smells. » 9/20/13 8:10am 9/20/13 8:10am

What does space smell like?

Astronauts may not expose their nostrils to the vacuum of space, but folks who come back from space walks report that they've brought a very distinctive odor back with them. And the space stations have their own special (and not necessarily pleasant) scents, including perfume of the Mir Space Station, which is… » 7/21/12 11:30am 7/21/12 11:30am

10 Limits to Human Perception ... and How They Shape Your World

Every human has limits. You can only run so fast, jump so high, and go for so long without water. But what about restrictions upon our five senses, those tools that we use to perceive and understand our surroundings? Here are ten limitations on human perception that have a direct impact on how we understand the world. » 7/17/12 10:26am 7/17/12 10:26am

The truth about why things smell bad: Vibrating molecules

For over a century, our sense of smell has been explained with the "lock and key" hypothesis, which holds that each odor molecule has a particular shape that allows it to fit into particular smell receptors in the nose. But now a controversial study involving fruit flies suggests that hypothesis might miss the truth… » 2/15/11 5:00pm 2/15/11 5:00pm