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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The War on Stink

This New York Times online magazine article by Austin Bunn was originally published in October 15, 2000, and re-released today June 10, 2008. It portrays the research done in Dr. George Preti's lab, Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, against many obstacles to help find answers to body odor, particularly mouth odor and human secretions.

His research operation is but a draft compared with the gales of Big Science. Where other labs maintain huge server farms of coded genes, Preti has two fridges covered with cartoons and crammed with saliva, urine, swabs of exudates and other unmentionables. This year, the federal government will spend $3.8 billion to fight cancer and $528 million to fight diabetes. Preti will wage his war on stink with a total budget of $300,000...

...Preti holds a small strip of clear material under my nose, saturated with 3-methyl-2-hexenoic acid, the principal ingredient in underarm odor. Smelling this strip is like savoring distilled gym locker...
full article: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A05E0DD1E3DF936A25753C1A9669C8B63

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