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Articles on Smell

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Geoffrey McKillop (front) with his partner Nicola Dallet McConaghie as they left the hospital where he was discharged after surviving coronavirus. Liam McBurney/PA Images via Getty Images

What doctors know about lingering symptoms of coronavirus

Is it possible that people who recover from COVID-19 will be plagued with long term side effects from the infection? An infectious disease physician reviews the evidence so far.
A health worker carries out an olfactory test to monitor smell loss to a resident 65 km from Buenos Aires city, on May 24, 2020, amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. ALEJANDRO PAGNI/AFP via Getty Images

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.
Cookies taste so good. Smell tells us that before we even take a bite. How? Jennifer Pallian/Unsplash

What makes something smell good or bad?

Mmmmmmm. That smells delicious. Wait, how do you know that?
No smell, no touch: People line up in Prague, Czech Republic, to get tested for the coronavirus. Getty/Gabriel Kuchta

Welcome to your sensory revolution, thanks to the pandemic

All of the senses have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, not because the senses have changed, but because the world has, writes a sensory historian.
Many study participants reported they had smelled an absent partner’s clothing because it made them feel relaxed or secure. (Shutterstock)

The smelly truth about romantic relationships and health

Smelling a romantic partner's clothing is common behaviour, and research shows that it may improve sleep quality, and ease stress levels.
Different MR images help us unravel the mysteries of the brain. A diffusion MRI tractography reconstruction like this reveals the complicated wiring deep within a person’s brain. Thijs Dhollander

Some women seem to lack a key brain structure for smell – but their sense of smell is fine

Odd findings in a brain scan of a 29-year-old woman have scientists asking new questions about how our sense of smell really works.
‘Living Mady Easy: Revolving hat’, a satirical print with a hat supporting a spy glass, an ear trumpet, a ciggar, a pair of glasses, and a scent box, 1830, London. Wellcome Images CCBY

The past stinks: a brief history of smells and social spaces

The history of smell in 18th-century England reveals the complex story of scent and personal space.

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