·Summary « 
·Useful numbers 

Search :


Do deuterated molecules smell different?

Luca Turin and David J.C. MacKay

In a paper that strangely was not cited between its publication in 2001 and the date of writing this website (July 2003), Haffenden, Yaylayan, and Fortin (Food Chemistry 73, 67-72) reported that deuteration of Benzaldehyde changes its perceived smell.

We think that this important result deserves to be carefully replicated.

This website contains two notes.

(1) a reanalysis of the data of Haffenden et al (postscript, 3 pages) | (pdf);

(2) an Experimental design for replication of the experiment.

Subsequent publications

 author={Published online: 21 March 2004, doi:10.1038/nn1215
 title={A psychophysical test of the vibration theory of olfaction},
 author={Andreas Keller and Leslie B. Vosshall},
    Laboratory of Neurogenetics and Behavior,
     The Rockefeller University, 1230 York Avenue, Box 63,
      New York New York, 10021, USA.
    Correspondence should be addressed to A Keller.
    e-mail: kellera@mail.rockefeller.edu
  At present, no satisfactory theory exists to explain how a given
 molecule results in the perception of a particular smell. One theory
 is that olfactory sensory neurons detect intramolecular vibrations of
 the odorous molecule. We used psychophysical methods in humans to
 test this vibration theory of olfaction and found no evidence to
 support it.
 journal={Nature Neuroscience},
 note={published online 21 March 2004, doi:10.1038/nn1215 }

Site last modified Thu Mar 25 14:36:08 GMT 2004