What would you do if you couldn’t smell those fresh out of the oven cookies you just baked, or the smell of your favorite food that jumps right through your nose upon entering your go-to restaurant? Would you still be able to enjoy those foods? Or the smell of freshly washed clothes? The scent of your favorite perfume? Would you stop caring to use it? Some people out there are not able to smell all these wonderful things due to congenital anosmia, which from birth inhibits their sense of smell, therefore those suffering from it cannot detect odors. Thanks to science there is new hope. Scientists have restored the smelling function in mice, who genetically had no sense of smell. Nature Medicine journal published a paper about scientists from the University of Michigan Medical School that used engineered cold viruses to deliver crucial pieces of DNA to mice with a particular genetic defect.
The defect in the mice included the lack of cilia, tiny hair-like cellular organs. The mice were given the genetic tools to produce a protein that let them grow cilia on their own and their sense of smell started working again.
The gene therapy treatment will work for people who have a genetic disorder and didn’t lose their sense of smell due to disease or aging.
One step closer to being able to smell all the wonderful scents the world has to offer.
What would be the first thing you would want to smell, if you have never smelled anything before?