How do archaeologists know where to dig?

Archaeologists used to dig primarily at sites that were easy to find thanks to obvious visual clues. But technology – and listening to local people – plays a much bigger role now.

Stacey Camp, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Michigan State University • conversation
Dec. 4, 2020 ~10 min

architecture archaeology citizen-science maya lidar remote-sensing indigenous-knowledge curiosity belize archaeologists excavation archaeological-dig land-surveying traditional-indigenous-knowledge

Your dog's nose knows no bounds – and neither does its love for you

Dogs process the sensory world very differently than humans, but love in a way that is entirely familiar.

Ellen Furlong, Associate Professor of Psychology, Illinois Wesleyan University • conversation
Oct. 26, 2020 ~6 min

brain dogs work-from-home melanoma remote-working covid-19-pandemic smell oxytocin sense-of-smell love workplace bond attachment

Newfound taste cells ‘multitask’ to sense it all

Researchers have found taste cells in mice that respond to as many as four different tastes. Humans are likely to have the same cells, the researchers say.

Charlotte Hsu-Buffalo • futurity
Aug. 24, 2020 ~6 min

food brains senses taste science-and-technology

‘Cyborg’ locusts could sniff out bombs

"People use pigs for finding truffles. It's a similar approach—using a biological organism—this is just a bit more sophisticated."

Brandie Jefferson-WUSTL • futurity
Aug. 20, 2020 ~7 min

insects smell senses locusts featured science-and-technology explosives

Ocean warming threatens coral reefs and soon could make it harder to restore them

Hundreds of organizations are working around the world to restore damaged coral reefs. New research shows that rapid ocean warming threatens these efforts.

Shawna Foo, Postdoctoral Research Scholar, Arizona State University • conversation
Aug. 7, 2020 ~6 min

climate-change coral-bleaching coral-reefs significant-figures restoration-ecology ocean-warming remote-sensing reef-restoration

Models that mimic bug brains shed light on smell

Researchers have created a model of the brain that may clarify how the sense of smell actually works. It also mirrors insect brains.

Brandie Jefferson-WUSTL • futurity
July 10, 2020 ~3 min

insects brains senses science-and-technology smells

Synthetic odors created by activating brain cells help neuroscientists understand how smell works

Brains recognize a smell based on which cells fire, in what order – the same way you recognize a song based on its pattern of notes. How much can you change the 'tune' and still know the smell?

Edmund Chong, Ph.D. Student in Neuroscience, New York University • conversation
July 8, 2020 ~8 min

brain neuroscience neurons brain-cells optogenetics smell senses olfactory sense-of-smell odor olfaction scents sensory-perception brain-circuitry brain-circuits olfactory-system

Do dogs really see in just black and white?

Your faithful friend's view of the world is different than yours, but maybe not in the way you imagine.

Nancy Dreschel, Associate Teaching Professor of Small Animal Science, Pennsylvania State University • conversation
July 2, 2020 ~6 min

dogs pets animals vision fox wolf curious-kids curious-kids-us senses cats colors wolves foxes dog sensory-perception photoreceptors

COVID-19, smell and taste – how is COVID-19 different from other respiratory diseases?

Many respiratory viruses cause us to temporarily lose our sense of smell. But SARS-CoV-2 isn't like those other viruses. Researchers are now exploring how it differs and whether patients recover.

Valentina Parma, Research Assistant Professor, Temple University • conversation
June 4, 2020 ~8 min

 covid-19  pandemic  sars-cov-2  viruses  smell  senses  taste

What makes something smell good or bad?

Mmmmmmm. That smells delicious. Wait, how do you know that?

Weihong Lin, Professor of Biological Sciences, University of Maryland, Baltimore County • conversation
June 1, 2020 ~5 min

curious-kids curious-kids-us smell science-of-smells senses olfactory sense-of-smell odor olfaction scents