Science: Hot Noses

The sense least understood (not counting humor) is the sense of smell. Its subtleties baffle scientists and enrich perfume compounders. Last week Yale's Drs. Lloyd H Beck and Walter R. Miles, after long and thoughtful scratching of their scientific noses, presented the National Academy of Sciences with a brand-new theory. The nose, they said, is not, as commonly believed, a laboratory which identifies odors by chemical analysis. More likely, its smeller is an instrument or measuring infra-red (heat) rays absorbed by odorous vapors.

It has long been known that many gases and vapors...

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