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.
In another example of the power of the sense of smell, Prof. Noam Sobel, Dr. Anat Arzi, and colleagues have developed a “sniff test” that can help diagnose degree of brain injury in patients in a vegetative state. The test also predicted – with 100% accuracy – which patients were most likely to regain consciousness.
Reduced sense of smell is an early COVID-19 symptom for some. Weizmann Institute olfactory system expert Prof. Noam Sobel has developed SmellTracker, an online test for monitoring our own sense of smell. SmellTracker may help diagnose the virus early, and even distinguish between strains.