Strange: On the smell of Composition C-4

Strange and colleagues offer discouraging news in the hunt for a substitute for a mysterious substance: “On the Smell of Composition C-4,” William Kranz, Kelley Kitts, Nicholas Strange [pictured here —Nick Strange  is now a graduate student at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville], Joshua Cummins, Erica Lotspeich, John Goodpaster, Forensic Science International, epub December 24, […]

New brand of underwear: The newness smells suspicious

News reports in Britain and elsewhere tout a new British brand of underwear, named “Shreddies“, that uses a carbon filter to trap bad-smelling gasses. The manufacturer says the underwear is “award-winning“. This video compilation shows several recent TV accounts of it: But the basic product is not new, nor is it British. The original such […]

A Quick Peanut Butter Test for Alzheimer’s Disease

Peanut butter again tempts researchers who seek medical insight: “A brief olfactory test for Alzheimer’s disease,” Jennifer J. Stamps, Linda M. Bartoshuk, Kenneth M. Heilman, Journal of the Neurological Sciences, vol. 333, 2013, pp. 19–24. (Thanks to investigator Holly Brothers for bringing this to our attention.) The authors, at the University of Florida, explain: “Methods. […]

Phantosmia as and in a weather forecaster, reportedly

Phantosmia — smelly hallucinations — and the weather unite, at long last, as subjects of a science report: “Phantosmia as a Meteorological Forecaster,” S. R. Aiello and A.R. Hirsch [pictured here], International Journal of Biometeorology, March 2013. the authors, at the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor and the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in […]

Elephantine Classification of Human Ethnic Groups

Do elephants discriminate between (and perhaps against) different human ethnic groups? This study addresses that question:  “Elephants Classify Human Ethnic Groups by Odor and Garment Color,” Lucy A. Bates, Katito N. Sayialel, Norah W. Njiraini, Cynthia J. Moss, Joyce H. Poole, Richard W. Byrne, Current Biology, vol. 17, no. 22, November 20, 2007, pp. 1938–1942. […]