Ants don't have noses, but they detect scents using antennae atop their heads.

These Ants Were Trained to Sniff Out Cancer

In just ten minutes, an ant could learn to identify urine from mice with cancerous tumors, a new study finds

The federal government employs a total of 5,159 dogs, but only about 7 percent come from the United States.

U.S. Faces Bomb-Sniffing Dog Shortage

The pandemic has exacerbated an already short supply of specially-bred canines that detect explosives

This aye-aye is not picking its nose, at least at the moment. 

This Primate’s Long Middle Finger Has a Startling (And Rather Gross) Use

The aye-aye, long seen as spooky, spurred scientists to probe into primate nose-picking

A sculpture by artist Arlene Love and a tray of bottled scents in Joel Mainland’s office at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia.

Sniffing Out the Science of Smelling

From the lab to the art gallery, the latest efforts to understand the fragrant, musky, stinky and utterly baffling world of your nose

Researchers want to recreate the smells of civilizations like ancient Egypt. 

Scientists Recreate Cleopatra's Favorite Perfume

Reconstructing the scentscapes of bygone civilizations is anything but simple

The phenomenon of increasing yearly pollen loads is accelerating.

Climate Change Is Making Allergy Season Worse

New research finds climate change is making allergy season arrive earlier and bring higher pollen loads in North America

A scanned page from The Lytille Childrenes Lytil Boke, a 15th-century courtesy book of table manners and etiquette for kids

Don't Pick Your Nose, 15th-Century Manners Book Warns

The taboo on booger hunting stretches back centuries, reveals a book recently digitized by the British Library

Illustration of an adult and juvenile ankylosaur.

Armored Dinosaurs Kept Cool With a Labyrinth of Nasal Canals

A fluid dynamics study suggests the large and intricate passages in ankylosaurs' skulls were a great way to cool off in the Cretaceous

Until now, no one had been able to show at a microscopic level that the turkey vulture’s larger olfactory bulbs conferred  advantage in the smell department.

Turkey Vultures Have a Keen Sense of Smell and Now We Know Why

Inside the brains of this olfactory king of the roost is a powerful cellular mechanism for detecting carrion from hundreds of feet away

Why Do These Monkeys Have Such Outrageous Noses?

Proboscis monkeys may look ridiculous to us, but they are in fact perfectly adapted to their swamp surroundings

Some studies have shown that humans can learn to track scents like canines.

In Some Ways, Your Sense of Smell Is Actually Better Than a Dog’s

Human noses are especially attuned to picking up odors in bananas, urine and human blood

New research strengthens the theory that different climates influenced the shape of the human nose.

How Climate Helped Shape Your Nose

New research shows how the width of our nasal passages is literally shaped by the air we breathe

What did J.P. Morgan's library smell like in 1906?

Nosy Researchers Are Sniffing a Vintage Library

It’s all an effort to recreate an olfactory landscape of yore

Ask Smithsonian: Why Does My Nose Run When It’s Cold?

The nose knows that runny flows are necessary in the cold


Ask Smithsonian: Why Do We Sneeze?

Whether you sneeze because of a cold, or after sex or a good meal or in sunlight, the good old Achoo is the body's way of ridding itself of irritants

Louisville, Kentucky.

Officials Figure Out What Was Making Louisville Stink

A musty smell permeating the city can be blamed on a naturally-occurring chemical largely responsible for the smell of dirt

Human Skin Can Detect Odors, Some of Which May Help Trigger Healing

Olfactory cells occur all over the body, not just in the nose

The Human Nose Can Distinguish Between One Trillion Different Smells

New research says our olfactory system is far more sensitive than we thought

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