New research “sniffs out” how associative memories are formed

Has the scent of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies ever taken you back to afternoons at your grandmother’s house? Has an old song ever brought back memories of a first date? The ability to remember relationships between unrelated items (an odor and a location, a song and an event) is known as associative memory.

Repeated Pregnancy Loss May Be Tied to the Olfactory System, Weizmann Institute Scientists Find

Pregnant mice typically miscarry when exposed to the odor of a male who did not father their pups. Weizmann research provides evidence that the same effect occurs in women with unexplained repeated pregnancy loss (uRPL), who apparently process messages about male body odor differently. This could help identify causes and prevention of uRPL.

New Study on Development of Parkinson’s Disease is ‘On the Nose’

Scientists suggest that the initial impact of environmental toxins inhaled through the nose may induce inflammation in the brain, triggering the production of Lewy bodies that can then be spread to other brain regions. However, the relationship linking olfactory dysfunction and Parkinson’s disease development remains unclear. New findings from a study add weight to this theory and identify a critical signaling molecule that may be key to the domino effect kicked off by nasal inflammation.

Mosquitoes are drawn to flowers as much as people — and now scientists know why

Scientists have identified the chemical cues in flowers that stimulate mosquitoes’ sense of smell and draw them in. Their findings show how cues from flowers can stimulate the mosquito brain as much as a warm-blooded host — information that could help develop less toxic repellents and better traps.