Senses

This month's book picks include The Engagement, How the Word Is Passed and Drunk.

Books of the Month

The Fight to Legalize Gay Marriage, the Woman Who Couldn't Be Silenced and Other New Books to Read

These June releases elevate overlooked stories and offer insights on oft-discussed topics

In a lab experiment, a blind 58-year-old male volunteer was able to identify the position of two cups after receiving a new type of gene therapy.

New Research

New Gene Therapy Partially Restores Sight to Blind Man

Researchers inserted genes that code for light-sensitive proteins in algae into the man’s retina, and now he reports limited but much improved vision

President Barack Obama fist bumps a robotic arm being controlled by electrodes implanted in Nathan Copeland's brain at the University of Pittsburgh on October 13, 2016.

New Research

Researchers Create Mind-Controlled Robotic Arm With Sense of Touch

Touch feedback allowed a man with electrodes implanted into his brain to command a robotic arm and complete tasks quickly

A heat map of the receptive fields of sensory neuron receptors on a human fingertip.

New Research

Study Shows Fingerprint Ridges Play Key Role in Sense of Touch

Experiments show that our fingertips’ finely tuned sensitivity maps onto the whorled ridges of our prints

At the new exhibition at the Mauritshuis in The Hague, scent dispensers will let viewers smell scents associated with the paintings.

Don't Just Look at These Paintings—Smell Them Too, Says New Dutch Exhibition

"Scent dispensers" will emit odors fragrant and foul to evoke 17th-century Europe

Steam hides a vendor stirring mulled wine with sea buckthorns at a Christmas market in Svobody Square, Kharkiv, northeastern Ukraine.

Virtual Travel

This Holiday Season, Travel With Your Nose

The scents that you find most comforting can help you feel like you're on the road, even when you're not

Scholars will use A.I. to identify references to specific scents in artwork and texts.

Researchers Are Recreating Europe's Centuries-Old Scents

A team of scientists will curate an "encyclopedia of smell heritage" that spans the 16th through early 20th centuries

A round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) in a plastic pipe in the lab.

New Research

Some Fish Fins Are as Sensitive as a Primate's Fingertips

Experiments reveal fish fins aren't just for getting around. They could have implications for underwater robotics

This cheese is real, but by stimulating certain parts of a mouse's brain, researchers were able to trick the critter into smelling scents that were not present.

New Research

Experiment Tricks Mice Into Smelling Things That Aren’t There

Researchers stimulated certain of the mouse’s brain cells in a particular order to produce 'synthetic smells'

In Asia, many jellyfish species find their way into cuisine. The largely tasteless animals are used predominately for their texture.

To Make Jellyfish More Appetizing, Add Light and Sound Effects to the Dining Experience

Gastrophysicists are going to great lengths to convince Westerners to indulge in the tasteless sustainable seafood

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres' "The Grand Odalisque" is one of eight works of art featured in the project

The Louvre Recruited Top Perfumers to Create Scents Inspired by Its Famous Works of Art

The fragrances evoke masterpieces including 'Venus de Milo,' 'The Winged Victory of Samothrace' and 'La Grande Odalisque'

Lots of snacks, please.

Elephants Use Smell to Sniff Out Snack Quantities

When presented with two lidded buckets containing sunflower seeds, elephants seemed able to choose the one with more food

To some, beets' soil-like smell is so strong that eating the vegetable holds the same appeal as dining on a chunk of dirt.

New Research

New Study Reveals How One Person’s ‘Smellscape’ Can Differ From Another’s

A single genetic mutation could determine whether you perceive beets’ soil-like smell, whiskey’s smokiness and lily of the valley’s sweetness

Researchers looked at smell tests taken by more than 2,200 people between the age of 71 and 82 years old.

New Research

Impaired Sense of Smell in the Elderly Is Linked With Risk of Death

A new study finds older people who score poorly on a sniff test are 46 percent more likely to die over the next 10 years, but researchers don't know why

Cool Finds

New Legos Are Designed to Help Visually Impaired Children Learn Braille

The goal of the new toy is to increase literacy among the blind has fallen dramatically in the last 50 years

"Super smeller" Joy Milne (left) poses alongside Perdita Barran, a co-author of the new study

New Research

How a Woman Who Can Smell Parkinson's Disease Helped Scientists Create a New Early Diagnosis Method

Joy Milne first noticed a “sort of woody, musky odor” emanating from her husband some 12 years before he was diagnosed with the degenerative disorder

New Research

Some People's Brains Can Sense Earth's Magnetic Field—but No, It Doesn't Mean We Have Magnetoreception 'Superpowers'

A new experiment reveals signs our brains may respond to changes in Earth's magnetic field, but it's unclear whether it impacts behavior

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Ingenious Minds

How Jean Bennett Found a Way to Treat Hereditary Blindness in Children

In conversation with chef Spike Gjerde, the molecular geneticist explains how she is paving the way for the future of gene therapy

These electrode-embedded chopsticks can simulate saltiness.

Using Electric Currents to Fool Ourselves Into Tasting Something We're Not

Nimesha Ranasinghe is bringing a new dimension to virtual reality, embedding electric taste simulation technology into utensils

New Research

The Physics Behind a Leaky Faucet’s Maddening ‘Plink’

Microphones and high-speed cameras show that what happens when a water droplet hits water is surprisingly complicated

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