What a smell looks like


This experiment was created so scientists could study how animals and humans use smells to navigate their surroundings. That question forms the heart of a new $6.4 million project, sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the White House Brain Initiative, called Cracking the Olfactory Code.

My comment to the PBS site:

Re: “Smell was part of very ancient evolution…. Bacteria use olfaction, single-celled organisms use olfaction, worms use olfaction.”

The de novo creation of G protein-coupled receptors links everything known to physicists, chemists, and molecular biologists from quantized energy-dependent changes in angstroms to the interactive health of all ecosystems in all living genera. Virus-driven energy theft is linked to all pathology.

Any attempt to put that fact back into the context of evolutionary theory should be viewed as an attempt to stop the progress that has already been made via the Precision Medicine Initiative and the National Microbiome Initiative. Taken together, those initiatives have helped to link metabolic networks to genetic networks without claims about beneficial mutations, natural selection, or evolution.

One month ago, Paul M. Lieberman included a concise statement of everything known about biologically-based cause and effect in the context of this review: “Epigenetics and Genetics of Viral Latency.”

He wrote: “…viral latency is responsible for life-long pathogenesis and mortality risk…” Simply put, all pathology can be linked to virus-driven energy theft, and all healthy longevity can be linked from nutrient energy-dependent biologically-based cause and effect to supercoiled DNA, which protects all organized genomes from virus-driven entropy.

In 1980, Lewis Thomas wrote: “I should think we might fairly gauge the future of biological science, centuries ahead by estimating the time it will take to reach a complete comprehensive understanding of odor. It may not seem a profound enough problem to dominate all the life sciences, but it contains, piece by piece, all the mysteries” (p. 732). — as cited in The Scent of Eros: Mysteries of Odor in Human Sexuality (1995/2002).

The biggest mystery of all time involves questions about why the future of biological science was put on hold by neo-Darwinian theorists who used de Vries 1902 definition of “mutation” as the foundation for their assumptions and theories about evolution.

See also: Cracking the Olfactory Code (Olfactory) An Ideas Lab Activity Program Solicitation NSF 15-547

Excerpt 1)

The conceptual foundation of neuroscience rests on the idea that behavior derives from the emergent properties of a distributed collection of neural circuits.

My comment: Energy as information is linked to behavior via RNA methylation and the biophysically constrained chemistry of protein folding that links hydrogen-atom transfer in DNA base pairs in solution from amino acid substitutions to the stability of all organized genome in all living genera. Supercoiled DNA exemplifies how top-down causation must link quantized energy to what is currently known to serious scientists about biologically-based cause and effect. Supercoiled DNA protects organized genomes from virus-driven energy theft and genomic entropy.

The ridiculous claim about the conceptual foundation of neuroscience exemplifies how much collective ignorance has been taught to generations of biologically uninformed students by their biologically uninformed professors. Most were taught to believe in emergence and evolution that somehow occurred outside the context of energy-dependent changes that serious scientists have linked from angstroms to ecosystems.

Excerpt 2)

The National Science Foundation strives to invest in a robust and diverse portfolio of projects that creates new knowledge and enables breakthroughs in understanding across all areas of science and engineering research and education.

My comment: New knowledge is never created. Understanding why some people make breakthroughs and why others do not is simple. Neo-Darwinian theorists do not make scientific breakthroughs because they do not learn how to link energy-dependent changes in all living genera from angstroms to ecosystems. If you tell someone that mutations link what is known to serious scientists about the links from angstroms to ecosystems and they believe you, that person is a theorist. Theorists will continue to submit proposals for NSF funding until the NSF stops funding research on the emergence of behavior or the evolution of behavior.

I repeat: Energy as information is linked to behavior via RNA methylation…

See also:

Cracking the Olfactory Code (2/22/05)

Cracking the olfactory code of a butterfly: the scent of ageing (March 6, 2012)

Cracking the Olfactory Code (June 1, 2016)

“cracking the olfactory code” in On the Scent: A journey through the science of smell by Paolo Pelosi (May 24, 2016)


In humans, the perception of odours adds a fourth dimension to life, from the scent of flowers, the aroma of foods, and all the subtle smells in the environment. But how many types of odours can we distinguish? Why do we like the food we like? Which are the most powerful odorants, and how well does the human sense of smell perform compared with that of a dog or a butterfly?

The sense of smell is highly complex, and such complexity discouraged scientists for a long time, leaving the world of smell in an atmosphere of mystery. Only recently, thanks to the new tools furnished by molecular biology and neuroscience, are we beginning to answer these questions, uncovering the hidden secrets of our sense of smell, and decoding the language used by most animals to communicate. In this book, Paolo Pelosi, one of the leading figures in the development of the science of olfaction, recounts how the chemical alphabet behind smell has been pieced together over the past three decades. Drawing on anecdotes from his own scientific career, and celebrating the rich variety of smells from herbs to flowers to roast coffee and freshly baked bread, he weaves together an engaging and remarkable account of the science behind the most elusive of our senses.

Richard Doty’s book about pheromones is cited. Trystam Wyatt’s book about pheromones is cited.  For comparison, Einstein’s works, Schrodinger’s works, and Dobzhansky’s works appear to have not been of interest to this author. The book I co-authored with Robert Francoeur is not mentioned.

The Scent of Eros: Mysteries of Odor in Human Sexuality (1995/2002)


Scientists have long known that chemical communication via pheromones is a powerful influence on how animals develop, mate, bond, and nurture their offspring. Human animals are no exception. Pheromones, explain the authors, alter hormone levels, can accelerate puberty, control women’s menstrual cycles, influence our choice in a mate, and even influence our sexual orientation. They help us tell lovers and family members from strangers and are essential to the mother-infant bond. Pheromones influence how often we have sex, and with whom. They influence how the brain develops, what we remember, and how we learn.

Grounded in solid scientific research, yet maintaining an easy-to-read style, The Scent of Eros is an engrossing read about a whole new world under our noses!

Kohl and Francoeur show the pathway from social-environmental sensory input to the hormones that influence our behavior, especially our sexual behavior. The authors suggest and show that pheromones are the primary link between the nature and the nurture of human sexuality.

Biological anthropologist, Helen Fisher said this about The scent of eros: mysteries of odor in human sexuality (by Kohl and Francoeur 1995):

“This is science at its best, with adventure, ideas, and lots of facts”.

review by Mark Sergeant  Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Nottingham Trent University

review by Ralph Underwager, Institute for Psychological Therapies

review by Jan Peregrine

For an example of what NSF funding has done to answer the questions that have been answered by serious scientists who have linked energy-dependent changes from angstroms to ecosystems in all living genera, see: Viewpoint: The First Sounds of Merging Black Holes


Does gravity really behave as predicted by Einstein in the vicinity of black holes, where the fields are very strong? Can dark energy and the acceleration of the Universe be explained if we modify Einstein’s gravity? We are only just beginning to answer these questions [11, 12].

Keep Reading