Scientists have further decoded how mammalian brains perceive odors and distinguish one smell from thousands of others.
When choosing a mate, females of different subspecies of Drosophila mojavensis recognize the right mating partners either mainly by their song or by their smell. New species apparently evolve when the chemical mating signal is altered and when, in turn, the signal is reinterpreted by the opposite sex in the context of other signals, such as the courtship song.
A new review of neurological symptoms of COVID-19 patients in current scientific literature reveals the disease poses a global threat to the entire nervous system. About half of hospitalized patients have neurological manifestations of COVID-19, which include headache, dizziness, decreased alertness, difficulty concentrating, disorders of smell and taste, seizures, strokes, weakness and muscle pain.
Researchers at NINDS have identified a specific, front-line defense that limits the infection to the olfactory bulb and protects the neurons of the olfactory bulb from damage due to the infection. Although the location of nasal neurons and their exposure to the outside environment make them an easy target for infection by airborne viruses, viral respiratory infections rarely make their way from the olfactory bulb to the rest of the brain, where they could cause potentially fatal encephalitis.
This case report describes a 25-year-old female radiographer with no significant medical history who had been working in a COVID-19 ward who presented with a mild dry cough that lasted for one day, followed by persistent severe anosmia (loss of smell) and dysgeusia (an impaired sense of taste).
A systematic review of COVID-19 cases finds nearly half of patients reported changes to or complete loss of their sense of taste. The finding furthers the evidence that changes in taste are a valid screening tool for COVID-19.
If an unconscious person responds to smell through a slight change in their nasal airflow pattern -- they are likely to regain consciousness. This is the conclusion from a new study conducted by Weizmann Institute scientists and colleagues at the Loewenstein Rehabilitation Hospital, Israel.
Traditional stroke treatments like clot-dissolving tPA and surgical removal of big clots in the brain are good choices as well when the stroke results from SARS-CoV-2 infection, investigators report.
Quantitative biologists at CSHL have figured out how a fly brain learns to ignore overwhelmingly prevalent, mundane odors to focus on more important ones. It's an important step towards understanding how our senses work and how computer sensing could work better.
Doctors have reported that partial or total loss of the sense of smell is often an early symptom of infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Chemical Neuroscience have shown that in mice, two proteins required for SARS-CoV-2 entry are produced by cells of the nasal cavity that contribute to odor detection. Moreover, larger amounts of the proteins are made in older animals than in younger ones.