Do hearts have a sense of smell?
Your sense of smell may not be limited to just your nose. New research from German food chemist Peter Schieberle at the Technical University of Munich and the German Research Center for Food Chemistry determined that the same aroma sensors found in the nose are also present in other organs, such as the heart, lungs and blood.
The nose is able to sense aromas when airborne chemical compounds from the environment (i.e. freshly baked bread or an old gym shoe) bind to olfactory receptors within the nose. This binding prompts a chain reaction between the receptors and the brain, which ultimately tells the brain what something smells like.
For a long time, researchers thought these receptors existed only in the nose, but this research suggests that they may be present throughout the body and actually help carry out specific functions.
For example, sperm cells also contain odor receptors that they use to help locate an egg. The new findings conclude that even human blood cells have odor receptors that are attracted to particular molecules within the body. Schieberle said that it is unclear if odor receptors in other organs work in the same way as they do in the nose. He hopes that further research will provide an answer.
NEXT: ‘Couch potato’ may be an inherited trait
Sourced from: Live Science, Does the Heart Have a Sense of Smell?
Skin cancer survivors still out in the sun
Some people never learn. A nationwide survey presented by researchers at the Yale School of Medicine found that more than 1 in 4 melanoma survivors do not use sunscreen when they go outdoors, and some actually still frequent tanning beds.
The results are based on data from the 2010 National Health Interview Survey, which is a nationwide study run by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to assess the health habits of the country. Anees Chagpar, associate professor of surgery at Yale School of Medicine, and her colleagues analyzed the responses from 171 melanoma survivors involved in the larger survey.
They found that while most melanoma survivors did take precautions against the sun after their bout with skin cancer, an alarming number did not protect their skin from the sun and even engaged in activities that greatly increased the risk of skin cancer. Specifically, 27.3 percent of melanoma survivors said they did not apply sunscreen before going outdoors for more than an hour and 15.4 percent said that they rarely make an effort to stay in the shade when they do go outdoors. And then there were the 2.1 percent of melanoma survivors who said that they had used an indoor tanning bed in the last year.
Chagpar and her colleagues called the findings ‘incredibly disturbing’ and suggested that some of the melanoma survivors may suffer from an addiction to tanning, which keeps them going back to tanning beds and forgoing sunscreen. The research authors called for more education for skin cancer survivors on the dangers of sun exposure.
NEXT: Do hearts have a sense of smell?
Sourced from: Medical News Today, 1 In 4 Melanoma Survivors Still Skips Sunscreen
‘Couch potato’ may be an inherited trait
It could be that there’s actually an genetic reason that you’re capable of spending an entire Saturday afternoon on the couch. A study published in the American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology identified a set of genetic traits that might predispose people to be more or less motivated to work out regularly.
The researchers put rats in cages with a running wheel and measured how often during a six-day trial each rat ran on the wheel without being prompted. Then, they bred the 26 rats that ran the most often with each other, and the 26 rats that ran the least with each other. They repeated this process through 10 generations of rats and found that the line of ‘runner rats’ chose to run 10 times more often than the line of rats that were more sedentary.
Then, the researchers studied the genetic makeup and body composition of the last generation of each line of rats–the ‘super runners’ and the ‘couch potatoes’. What they found was that there were only minor differences in the body composition of the ‘super runners’ and the ‘couch potatoes’, but there were distinct genetic differences between the two lines. Specifically, the researchers found 36 genes that seemed to play a role in predicting motivation for physical activity.
Researchers now hope to study each gene individually to determine its particular effect on motivation to exercise.
NEXT: The dangers of sleep deprivation (infographic)
Sourced from: Science Daily , Couch Potatoes May Be Genetically Predisposed to Being Lazy, Rat Study Suggests