October 14, 2015
Richard Newcomb, Principal Investigator of the Allan Wilson Centre,
Chief Scientist at Plant and Food Research, and Professor of Evolutionary Genetics, University of Auckland.
We can theoretically detect and differentiate a trillion smells. When the human genome was decoded, there were more genes for smell than anything else.
We only have 480 active odorant receptors out of 1000 available receptors present in our genome. These provide us each with our own unique smell perception of the world around us. So when someone says that wine smells like apricots to them, it may well be because of the differences in our genes.