Consider Smell: Arctic Edition (Afterthoughts)

Since the exhibit came down last week, I thought I’d post a few memories of First Friday exhibit opening night at Ursa Major Distillery for Consider Smell: Arctic Edition and some followup on responses from visitors to the gallery over the month-long display! We had a nice long line waiting for drinks before seeing the artContinue reading “Consider Smell: Arctic Edition (Afterthoughts)”

What does this smell like?

At the Consider Smell exhibit at Ursa Major Distillery during the month of March, visitors were asked to write down what they thought an unlabelled vial (birch) smelt like. The word cloud interestingly shows smoked/smoky/campfire as common responses–a lot of people were reminded of smoked meats and fishes either from fall hunt or spring spawning, a regional lifestyleContinue reading “What does this smell like?”

Consider Smell: Arctic Edition (Behind the Scenes Sneak Preview)

Join #considersmell this Friday in Fairbanks Alaska for an Arctic Edition of a travelling series of events that explore smelling, and other senses, through time and space. Come to the Ursa Major Distillery on Parks Highway from 5-8 for a multi-sensory experience! Some tools to get us started: the smoking gun! We use this to createContinue reading “Consider Smell: Arctic Edition (Behind the Scenes Sneak Preview)”

Consider Smell: Arctic Edition

Kara C. Hoover and Julia Feuer-Cotter 4 March 2016. Anthropology Colloquium in Bunnell 405 from 3-4:30 Consider Smell: Smelling Imagined Geographies through Time and Space 4 March 2016. First Friday at Ursa Major Distillery from 5-8pm Join us for a multi-sensory experience that opens the nose to engage deeply across the senses via multisensory molecularContinue reading “Consider Smell: Arctic Edition”

What Neandertals smelt…

My recent research has had a little news coverage today which is lovely. My esteemed colleague, Dr. Matthew Cobb of the U of Manchester (@matthewcobb), fronted for our team today on BBC4 Inside Science (What Neandertals Smelt). The piece begins at 15:38 and runs for about 8 minutes. The University of Manchester did a nice PR piece onContinue reading “What Neandertals smelt…”

Sex and Evolution?

I like Michael Stoddart’s books in general–he has some great contributions to make and is one of a few popular scientists promoting olfaction. While reading his most recent book, I have been a bit frustrated by the simplistic view of human evolution and behavior. A recent Guardian piece by him “Smell evolution and the sexContinue reading “Sex and Evolution?”

The chirality of smell

As I prepare the first half of my Science of Smell online class, I am having fun looking for various examples of all things biomolecular, biochemical, and genetic related to olfaction. If I were a taste and flavour chemist or a molecular gastronomist, I’d probably be interested in somehow exploiting the chirality of biomolecules in foodContinue reading “The chirality of smell”

Is odorant diversity driving olfactory receptor genetic variation?

Olfactory receptor genes have more variation than most gene families in the human genome. The only family with greater diversity is the major histocompatibility complex (MHC). Both families also exhibit high heterozygosity. Due to its association with disease, the MHC is well-studied. The explanation for the maintenance of MHC diversity is pathogen-driven selection–either through heterozygoteContinue reading “Is odorant diversity driving olfactory receptor genetic variation?”

Stress and sex

A study from 2013 that documented sex differences in sleep needs (based on inflammatory markers) turned  my thoughts to stress susceptibility. I recently wrote about allostatic load, a measure of elevated cortisol (a stress hormone) in living human populations. While attempts to transfer the concept of allostatic load to the bioarchaeological record are lacking robusticity, there isContinue reading “Stress and sex”