Utne Blogs > Science and Technology

The Synthetic Smell of Success

by Rachel Levitt

Tags: Science and Technology, discoveries, health, research breakthroughs, sense of smell, artificial nose, disease diagnosis, MIT, ScienceDaily,

SmellingEngineers at MIT have developed a way to produce smell receptors in a lab, reports ScienceDaily. This might not seem like big news, but scientists have been trying to develop this kind of technology for years. Developing artificial smell sensors could help law enforcement officials replace drug- and bomb-sniffing dogs, which take extensive time and money to train, with artificial noses. Also, considering that diseases including diabetes, asthma, and certain types of cancer have a particular smell, the technology could be used to make early, potentially life-saving diagnoses.

Image courtesy of tuexperto_com3, license under  Creative Commons.