How Smells Affect the Brain

Researchers studying the most ancient yet least understood of the five senses—smell—have discovered a previously unknown step in how odors are detected and processed by the brain.

The brain is constantly bombarded by smells, so how does it filter and categorize the scents that define our days? "Scientists have discovered a dialogue between the bulb and the cortex conducted by rapidly firing nerve cells. 'It was originally thought that the olfactory bulb filtered and the olfactory cortex made decisions on whether something is, for example, edible,' said lead researcher Diego Restrepo, University of Colorado neuroscience professor. 'Our study says it's not quite like that. You process information on reward in the olfactory bulb, send it to the cortex and there is a dialogue between the two. Then the brain will act.'"

China’s artificial sun reaches fusion temperature: 100 million degrees

In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.

Credit: EAST Team
Surprising Science
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Military recruits are supposed to be assessed to see whether they're fit for service. What happens when they're not?

Flickr user Tommy Truong79
Politics & Current Affairs
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Here's how diverse the 116th Congress is set to become

The 116th Congress is set to break records in term of diversity among its lawmakers, though those changes are coming almost entirely from Democrats.

(Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Women and nonwhite candidates made record gains in the 2018 midterms.
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