How Geneticists Are Recreating Extinct Smells

Excited for the August 21 eclipse? Visit our Eclipse 2017 page to explore the science, history, and myths of the event. The Curiosity team will be viewing the eclipse alongside NASA in Carbondale, Illinois. Follow us on Facebook for live videos, trivia, and interviews on the big day.

If you've ever wondered what the world smelled like centuries ago, scientists are currently working on unearthing flowers from the Ice Age. Vintage candle scents, anyone? To understand how researchers are able to bring back these ancient floral aromas, you first need to know how smells work. How are essential oils extracted from roses for perfume, for example? Watch the following video to learn more about smells and how scientists can recreate them using genetically modified yeast.

Stop And Smell The Ice Age Roses

We can recreate scents without living specimans as long as we have their DNA. Pretty cool, huh?

How Many Smells Can You Smell?

Compared to the spectrum of smell, our tastebuds are crude.

Share the knowledge!

Key Facts In This Video

  1. Smelling is an essential part of your genes. 00:42

  2. People rate memories triggered by smell as more emotional than by sight or sound. 02:17

  3. Smells can occur in the womb before we're born. 02:41

If you liked this you'll love our podcast! Check it out on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, search 'curiosity' on your favorite podcast app or add the RSS Feed URL.