Sniff Sniff take a whiff


ImagePhysiology of smell,

The trolley in which I was being wheeled went past a building unconsciously my mind registering the smell I knew 40% burns or not I was safe. The familiar smell of my growing years,

The smell of formalin, of the anatomy block, — the dissection hall and the museum.  Musty smell of human decomposition masked by formalin and formaldehyde. The sharp essence of phenyl. I know I sound weird.

The smell took me back to my 6yr. Old self skipping to show off to the older guests, the weird world of  human bodies, their revulsion, yet fascination was amusing to my child intellect.

The anatomy hall that was home ground for me, and long corridors of the connecting physiology department.  Where years of inert human bodies seem to come alive.  The wonder of colonies of cells, living in organized symbiotic fashion to create this organic being that we call Homo Sapiens!!

I can still hear prof. Dr.P.L.N.Rao telling us how the physiology of smell works. I can still hear him say, the magic of smell is underplayed… it is vital to our everyday existence,

  • Smell of roses,
  • Smell of milk going sour,

Though the sense of smell is never really tested, it is also essential for our ability to taste. Many times it could be first sign of other disorders.

Sniff, sniff, and Take a whiff,–

Actually our nose makes scents of what’s going on in the world around us. Just like the eyes give us visual information and ears help us to listen. I am not going into technical details, but just whiffing past it.

The roof of the nasal cavity—the space behind our nose is the olfactory epithelium (pronounced as ol-fak-tuh-ree eh-puh-thee-lee-um) olfactory is the medical word for smell. The olfactory epithelium contains special receptors that are sensitive to odor molecules that travel through the air.

These receptors are very small and about 10 million of them live in our nose. Each of these receptors is special in the sense they recognize special odour molecules. Research has shown that odour stimulates several kinds of receptors. The brain then interprets the combination of receptors to recognize any one from about 10.000 smells!ambipur

One question that has puzzled me from childhood walk down the anatomy museum corridor, to the day is why is that we find some smells likable and some not likable.

written for smelly to smiley ambipur contest


3 thoughts on “Sniff Sniff take a whiff

  1. Pingback: The scent of life… | post365

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