Sniff tests used to create olfactory fingerprint

smell
Credit: Petr Kratochvil/public domain

(Medical Xpress)—A team of researchers with affiliations to several institutions in Israel has developed a way to test the differences in the way people perceive odors. The differences are enough, the team reports in their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that it is possible to uniquely indentify individuals based solely on their sense of smell.

Though most people perceive odors in similar ways, scientists have known for some time that there are some small variations, but until now, there has not been a way to test those differences. To come up with such a test, the researchers started with knowledge gained from prior research that had found that approximately 30 percent of the human genome responsible for encoding differs from person to person. To learn more about the perception differences that come about because of that, the researchers developed a system of test questions that took into account 28 different odors along with 54 descriptive words that a person taking the could use to describe one of the odors. The team then recruited 89 volunteers to take sniff tests and then to use the designated words to describe what they smelled.

In analyzing the data, the researchers noted that average descriptions of the odors was quite similar among the volunteers, but that there was enough variance among them to create what they call an olfactory fingerprint—a unique perceptual experience—so unique that it could be used to identify each of the volunteers when given another set of tests. More experimentation showed that the tests could be refined to the point where it would take just 10 odors and 11 descriptive words to accurately build an olfactory fingerprint for one individual, or taking it further, using 34 odors and 35 descriptive words to create olfactory fingerprints for everyone alive today.

In another series of experiments, the team enlisted the assistance of 130 volunteers—this time they compared human leukocyte antigens (blood proteins involved in immunity response) for each person, with their olfactory fingerprints and found that those people that matched well with antigens, matched closely in their olfactory fingerprints as well, suggesting a means for testing for immunity compatibility.

Fingerprinting our sense of smell
The olfactory fingerprint of the person in the middle remains consistent, even after 30 days (right), but is very different from that of another person (left). Credit: Weizmann Institute of Science

The team believes their testing system could be used to help diagnose diseases that impact the sense of smell and perhaps, because of the unique signature, in security applications.


Explore further

Researchers getting closer to understanding why odors are so difficult to describe

More information: Individual olfactory perception reveals meaningful nonolfactory genetic information Lavi Secundo, PNAS, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1424826112

Abstract
Each person expresses a potentially unique subset of ∼400 different olfactory receptor subtypes. Given that the receptors we express partially determine the odors we smell, it follows that each person may have a unique nose; to capture this, we devised a sensitive test of olfactory perception we termed the "olfactory fingerprint." Olfactory fingerprints relied on matrices of perceived odorant similarity derived from descriptors applied to the odorants. We initially fingerprinted 89 individuals using 28 odors and 54 descriptors. We found that each person had a unique olfactory fingerprint (P < 10−10), which was odor specific but descriptor independent. We could identify individuals from this pool using randomly selected sets of 7 odors and 11 descriptors alone. Extrapolating from this data, we determined that using 34 odors and 35 descriptors we could individually identify each of the 7 billion people on earth. Olfactory perception, however, fluctuates over time, calling into question our proposed perceptual readout of presumably stable genetic makeup. To test whether fingerprints remain informative despite this temporal fluctuation, building on the linkage between olfactory receptors and HLA, we hypothesized that olfactory perception may relate to HLA. We obtained olfactory fingerprints and HLA typing for 130 individuals, and found that olfactory fingerprint matching using only four odorants was significantly related to HLA matching (P < 10−4), such that olfactory fingerprints can save 32% of HLA tests in a population screen (P < 10−6). In conclusion, a precise measure of olfactory perception reveals meaningful nonolfactory genetic information.

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JVK
Jun 24, 2015
This is an accurate representation of what is currently known about nutrient-dependent RNA-directed DNA methylation and the RNA-mediated events, whicht link the epigenetic landscape to the physical landscape of DNA via the de novo creation of olfactory receptors.

RNA-mediated amino acid substitutions stabilize thermodynamic cycles of protein biosynthesis and degradation, which enables the contribution of viral microRNAs to entropic elasticity unless nutrient uptake and DNA repair is linked to the physiology of reproduction via amino acid substitutions that differentiate all cell types of all individuals of all genera.

For examples, see: Nutrient-dependent/pheromone-controlled adaptive evolution: a model.
http://www.ncbi.n...24693353 AND the SIMILAR ARTICLES linked from PubMed

Jun 30, 2015
see: Nutrient-dependent/pheromone-controlled adaptive evolution: a model.
@jk

for a complete debunking of the above model with actual science and known facts, see:
http://www.socioa...ew/24367

Some important quotes from the debunking of kohl's model
In this latest paper, Kohl posits that evolution is exclusively driven by genetically predisposed, nutrient-dependent, and pheromone-controlled behavior and sexual selection. On the molecular level, he references only epigenetic processes (although he does not describe them in detail) ...

There is no mention at all of any biochemical pathways or enzymes...

In addition, Kohl demonstrates a blatant disregard for established nomenclature...

Kohl also shows significant comprehension issues within his own paper and in external discussions of references he believes support his model...
and so much more

kohl=pseudoscience

JVK
Jun 30, 2015
http://www.nature...928.html
AtPHT4;4 is a chloroplast-localized ascorbate transporter in Arabidopsis

See also my invited review of nutritional epigenetics:
"Nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled ecological adaptations: from atoms to ecosystems"
http://figshare.c...s/994281

The only explanation of biodiversity involves the light-induced de novo creation of amino acids and RNA-directed DNA methylation, which links the physiology of reproduction to the amino acid substitutions that differentiate all cell types of all individuals of all genera via their biophysically constrained chemistry of nutrient-dependent protein folding.

Mutations perturb protein folding.

See also: Protein Folding and Disease http://www.ibiolo...ase.html

Jul 01, 2015
Mutations perturb protein folding.
@jk
proven wrong here:
http://myxo.css.m...dex.html

and here:
http://www.oeb.ha...oeb.html

I can clarify that although our work does, we hope, provide an example of how nutrition/ecology could affect the evolution of potentially adaptive traits, you are right that we in no way claim that mutations in the heritable genome play no role in evolution. Indeed, as you correctly state, just because we provide evidence that nutritional conditions play a role, this does not negate a role for mutations. Indeed, in that very same paper, we provide evidence that heritable differences in the genome sequences between Drosophila species, in other words, mutations, ALSO play a role in the evolution of the trait we are studying.

So Kohl is mistaken if he is claiming that my study (or Rich Lenski's work) provide evidence AGAINST the role of mutations in evolution.
Epic failure for kohl

JVK
Jul 02, 2015
I did not claim that her study or Lenski's works provide evidence AGAINST the role of mutations in evolution. I claimed they did not provide evidence FOR the role of mutations, which perturb protein folding, in evolution.

Mutations, which perturb protein folding, are eliminated from organized genomes when the viral load of cell types is too great to be biophysically constrained by the nutrient-dependent chemistry of RNA-mediated cell type differentiation, which links the anti-entropic epigenetic effects of nutrient uptake to the controlled physiology of reproduction that is required for fixation of amino acid substitutions via RNA-mediated protein folding.

Jul 02, 2015
I did not claim ...
@jk
i used YOUR WORDS VERBATIM ... i even sent you a copy to your perfume site
I claimed they did not provide evidence FOR the role of mutations, which perturb protein folding, in evolution
and you were also DEBUNKED by the authors AND the evidence (as well as the experiments)
Mutations, which perturb protein folding...
i will say this again...remember when i asked "DOES your model make any changes to the nucleotide sequence of the genome of an organism, virus, or extrachromosomal genetic element?
This is a yes or no answer"
(this is the DEFINITION of mutation) to which you answered
YES!
--Thanks for asking
so by definition, and in your own words, your OWN MODEL is WRONG as it required MUTATIONS

you can continue to "ad hoc" explain why you are not wrong, mensa boy, but the facts are simple: YOUR OWN WORDS say you are wrong!
YOUR WORDS
not mine

epic fail, bubba

Jul 02, 2015
also note... trying to make things as COMPLICATED as possible by explaining in some kohl-slaw-word-salad is NOT good communication, and simply proves you are not capable of interpreting biology OR medicine ... when you posted
Mutations, which perturb protein folding, are eliminated from organized genomes blah blah blah blah via RNA-mediated protein folding
you are simply saying that you are illiterate and don't know what you are talking about

what's next?
you gonna call Lenski et al stupid and a "Biologically uninformed science idiot" because he refuted you?
what about Dr's Whittaker and Extavour? (actually, you already called Dr. Extavour an idiot, which was uncool as she was simply posting actual science over pseudoscience)

what next, creationist boy?

JVK
Jul 02, 2015
you gonna call Lenski et al stupid and a "Biologically uninformed science idiot" because he refuted you?


No one has refuted me, or offered an alternative model for comparison to my model. It may be that they are all biologically uninformed even if they are not science idiots like many of those who, like you, comment on phys.org

Also, they may have already accepted the facts that I accurately presented in my model, since there is no other model of biologically-based cause and effect that links cell type differentiation via the conserved molecular mechanisms of biophysically constrained nutrient-dependent protein folding.

If not, who cares? All serious scientists eventually accept biologically based facts. What's surprising is how long it takes for theorists to join others who are "Combating Evolution to Fight Disease" http://www.scienc...88.short

Jul 03, 2015
No one has refuted me
Uhmmm... are you sure?
just because we provide evidence that nutritional conditions play a role, this does not negate a role for mutations. Indeed, in that very same paper, we provide evidence that heritable differences in the genome sequences between Drosophila species, in other words, mutations, ALSO play a role in the evolution of the trait we are studying.

So Kohl is mistaken ...
or what about this
The paragraph that he chose to quote is taken out of context ("Mutations are rare; getting two mutations is even rarer...."), as I believe you have already noticed. The very next paragraph begins "Evolution isn't about playing one hand of blackjack though, its about playing lots and lots of hands, over a very long period of time. On a long enough timescale, you will eventually see one of these rare chance events."
to be continued

Jul 03, 2015
cont'd @jk
I don't understand what the second quote "The re-evolution of the bacterial flagellum over the weekend..." is referring to. It is also clearly out of context and unrelated to anything else being discussed in this particular thread.
please note that last sentence, which you specifically denied claiming, even AFTER the quote was published here, that she didn't visit the thread and was not aware of what you said/meant
I just did a Google search and found several other science articles where he has commented saying something similar, and seems to be referring to this article, in which Rich Lenksi comments on a paper in which flagellar motility returned to Pseudomonas after a gene was deleted: http://www.the-sc...ewiring/ . That study is an interesting example of a beneficial mutation, as I understand it.
and now, you can sat that I've refuted you as well, with your own words

2B continued

Jul 03, 2015
cont'd
or offered an alternative model
actually, your model is the alternative: the Theory of Evolution is what you are attempting to refute, except that you have no evidence
It may be that they are all biologically uninformed even if they are not science idiots...
because no one can understand but you, right? Your Dunning-Kruger is showing
they may have already accepted the facts that I accurately presented in my model...
except that your facts are not facts: see http://www.socioa...ew/24367
since there is no other model
see: the THEORY of Evolution (not the debunked hypothesis of creationist dogma by Kohl)
If not, who cares?
scientists
All serious scientists eventually accept biologically based facts.
except for you, apparently... it is either that or you are claiming not to be serious or a scientists...

you refuse to accept evidence/facts

creationist dogma is NOT SCIENCE

JVK
Jul 03, 2015
because no one can understand but you, right?


You know that I have published two award-winning works and that George FR Ellis supported me, with his claims in the comments on this "Frontiers in Human Neuroscience" article: Understanding and accounting for relational context is critical for social neuroscience http://journal.fr...127/full

When you claim that "no one can understand" me, you simply attest to the level of ignorance expressed by evolutionary theorists and by anonymous fools.

There is no need to refute any theory when only a model of biologically-based cause and effect can explain cell type differentiation in all genera, which is what my model does.

Jul 07, 2015
May I suggest we take it easy on Mr. Kohl? The gist of his suggestion that pheromones influence genetic inheritance is evidently correct even if his details are a little fuzzy. Standing upon the huge pile of Darwinian evidence is easy enough that any student could "refute" Mr. Kohl, but my experience with geneticists insists that the group as a whole is dull, dimwitted, and lacking in imagination. Like their completely incompetent insistence upon "junk DNA" as a hypothesis for decades when their error was perfectly obvious. Genetics is a tribe of nitwits. It would behoove worshippers to assume Kohl is correct and reevaluate everything instead of taking the lazy way out and condemning the messenger.

JVK
Jul 07, 2015
Thanks Bubba. My views on RNA-mediated pheromone-controlled epigenetic inheritance were detailed in our 1996 review: From Fertilization to Adult Sexual Behavior
http://www.hawaii...ion.html

Nothing more than 2 simple Google searches is required to confirm that what we wrote about molecular epigenetics is the obvious link from ecological variation to ecological adaptation without the pseudoscientific nonsense touted by population geneticists and their idiot minions.

https://www.googl...mediated
https://www.googl...eromones

Like their completely incompetent insistence upon "junk DNA" as a hypothesis for decades when their error was perfectly obvious.


See for comparison: Viral Genome Junk Is Bunk http://www.icr.or...cle/8661
See also: "The Darwin Code: Intelligent Design without God" http://rna-mediat...eg-bear/

JVK
Jul 07, 2015
Bubba and others. I noticed a change to what Google displayed as the definition of a "pheromone."

a chemical substance produced and released into the environment by an animal, especially a mammal or an insect, affecting the behavior or physiology of others of its species.

See for comparison, the claim made by Dick Doty in his book: The Great Pheromone Myth
Product Description: The Great Pheromone Myth
http://www.ebay.c...72497592

"...renowned olfaction expert Richard L. Doty rejects this idea and states bluntly that -- in contrast to insects -- pheromones in mammals do not exist."

From the time I first met him, soon after publication of "The Scent of Eros: Mysteries of Odor in Human Sexuality, Dick continued to claim he was writing a book about human pheromones. I could not have imagined that he would deny the fact that mammalian pheromones exist.

What kind of biologically uninformed science idiot...?

Jul 07, 2015
The gist of his suggestion that pheromones influence genetic inheritance is evidently correct even if his details are a little fuzzy


Unfortunately, the devil is in the details, as the saying goes. Gene expression is indeed modified by pheromones and other factors, but Kohl was not the first to discover that not does he get anything else correct. His posts are full of egregious misinterpretations and he doesn't understand any other molecular mechanisms. He once said that splicing causes DNA base substitutions. He once said that proteasomes mediate protein folding. He once was under the impression that cells were closed systems. He understands little about biology and even less of physics and expects people to treat him as though he has all the answers.

JVK
Jul 08, 2015
He once said that splicing causes DNA base substitutions.

See: http://www.hawaii...ion.html
In our 1996 Hormones and Behavior review, we wrote:
"Small intranuclear proteins also participate in generating alternative splicing techniques of pre-mRNA and, by this mechanism, contribute to sexual differentiation in at least two species, Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans...

The pre-mRNAs are now referred to in the context of microRNA-mediated cell type differentiation of all cell types in all living genera.

http://rna-mediated.com/
Here you will find information that links physics, chemistry, and molecular epigenetics via RNA-mediated events such as the de novo creation of olfactory receptor genes in order to encourage a public discussion of a paradigm shift.

MicroRNA – controlled ecological adaptations http://rna-mediated.com/microrna-controlled-ecological-adaptations/

JVK
Jul 08, 2015
http://rna-mediat...tations/

Excerpt: A good explanation achieves a happy medium between too little and too much. If you assume that your reader knows as much as you do, you will be prone to leaving out crucial information. It can be hard to notice what's missing from an explanation, because every part of it exists in your mind, if not on the page.

My comment: "…it just happens" assumes that his [Carl Zimmer's] readers know as much as he does about RNA-mediated cell type differentiation, and that they don't want to know anything about it — because he doesn't.

anonymous_9001 is correct. The devil is in the details, and he (aka Andrew Jones) can be compared to one of the devil's disciples who would rather no one learn about the details of biophysically constrained chemistry and nutrient-dependent RNA-mediated cell type differentiation.

JVK
Jul 08, 2015
He once said that splicing causes DNA base substitutions. He once said that proteasomes mediate protein folding. He once was under the impression that cells were closed systems.


I twice published award-winning reviews that attest to the amount of pseudoscientific nonsense that that has been touted by evolutionary theorists and their idiot minions, like Andrew Jones (aka anonymous_9001)

His ridulous claims about what I once said are taken out of context because his mutagenesis experiments led him to believe in ridiculous theories about biologically based cause and effect.


Jul 08, 2015
May I suggest we take it easy on Mr. Kohl? The gist of his suggestion that pheromones influence genetic inheritance is evidently correct even if his details are a little fuzzy.
@Together
science is all about details... please note that jk continues to attempt to appeal to his perceived "authority" on the subject despite his continued failures WRT interpreting science or even getting the details of his own model correct.

this is not scientific any more than it is good business... lies, especially blatant ones, continue to affect kohl's ability to comprehend biology. feeding his ego and allowing him to continue to promote creationist or other pseudoscience is nothing but promoting pseudoscience by proxy, IMHO

Jul 08, 2015
I twice published award-winning reviews
Appeal to self authority demonstrating Dunning-Kruger and narcissistic egotistical belief that you are infallible... perhaps you can tell us how your 40 years experience in diagnostic medicine without a license helped you comprehend biology?
His ridulous claims about what I once said are taken out of context
no, they're not. you have a 100% failure rate WRT interpreting science: see Lenski, Dr's Extavour and Whittaker, Ellis and many more on PO for more details
anonymous_9001 is correct. The devil is in the details
we already knew that... too bad you didn't comprehend what he wrote
rna-mediatedDOTcom
this is a PHISHING site as well as PSEUDOSCIENCE
it promotes CREATIONIST DOGMA as legitimate science, therefore it CANNOT BE SCIENCE

the only reason you use this link is because you cannot support your pseudoscience with legitimate studies in reputable journals

reported for PSEUDOSCIENCE

Jul 19, 2015
What I was most interested in were the researchers' attempts to link the subjects' olfactory components to components of their immune systems. Since other studies have provided details on how our immune systems become unique, it would follow that the subjects' immune systems may have been the underlying cause for the study's findings.

However, in the study's limitations paragraph, the researchers stated that this study didn't prove such causes. Perhaps the causes for our "unique olfactory perception" will be researched in future studies.

http://surfaceyou...ealself/

JVK
Jul 19, 2015
http://medicalxpr...ors.html

The immune system and olfactory system(s) are linked via RNA-mediated gene duplication and amino acid substitutions that differentiate all cell types in all individuals of all species.

Google "RNA mediated"

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