TWSB: Nosy Mice


Researchers at the University of Michigan have come up with a way to restore the sense of smell in anosmic mice!

Experimenting on mice that had lost their sense of smells due to a type of cilia dysfunction, researchers at the University of Michigan infected the mice with a modified strain of the common cold virus. The virus, containing the desired DNA sequences, rewrote the mice’s cells as the infection worked through their bodies. Once the mice had recovered, they were once again able to smell.

Dr. Jeffrey Martens explains that the virus was used to reintroduce neurons that transmit the sense of smell to regrow the cilia that the mice had lost. Unfortunately, though, the lack of cilia in the mice was due to a specific birth defect that affected a specific protein. A similar birth defect occurs in humans, but is usually fatal. So for now, there are no immediate applicable cures for human anosmics from these researchers’ findings, but hopefully the techniques and approach they’ve employed will lead them down the road that will one day allow those of us who lack olfaction to finally smell.

One response

  1. It’s so crazy to think how science is able too fifty viruses to do genetic therapy. Wounder how it would be received by the general public though.


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