Recording Smell

Have you ever wondered how cool it would be to record a lovely smell to sniff whenever you wanted or to send it to a friend miles away? Or what a great way of revenge it would be to record a nasty odor and send it to somebody you don’t like (though I would not encourage that)?

For over a century we have had the amazing gift of cameras, with which we can record what we see and hear. However, there was a time when such a phenomenon felt impossible, just as now it is difficult to imagine smell-recording devices. Well, it is possible and scientists are headed in the direction of making that a reality!

To understand how such a device would work, it is important to understand how the process of smelling works. Basically, when we inhale, we “pull” into our nose different molecules, which bind with small proteins at the back of our nose called “receptors” like a lock and key. After that, an electrical signal is sent to the brain, which eventually results in our identifying the smell. For instance, when we inhale molecules of a freshly baked cookie, the molecules go though this process and we are able to smell the cookie.

It is not hard to imagine that soon scientists will create a device that will “pull” certain odor molecules and save them for inhaling later. And then we might even be able to watch movies with one more of our senses involved in the process. How fun would that be!

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