Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists Find That The Human Nose Is More Complicated Than A Jumbo Jet

Date:
January 19, 2005
Source:
Biotechnology And Biological Sciences Research Council
Summary:
Winter colds can give you a blocked up nose that stops you smelling chimney smoke, roasting chestnuts, warming winter puddings and the other seasonal scents. Now researchers funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) have not only discovered how air moves through the nose bringing you those smells but their work may lead to new ways of unblocking it and helping you to breathe more easily.

Winter colds can give you a blocked up nose that stops you smelling chimney smoke, roasting chestnuts, warming winter puddings and the other seasonal scents. Now researchers funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) have not only discovered how air moves through the nose bringing you those smells but their work may lead to new ways of unblocking it and helping you to breathe more easily. They have even found that the airflow through the human nose is more complicated than that over a jumbo jet's wing.

The scientists at Imperial College London have combined biological mechanics and aeronautical engineering to construct transparent 3D models of the nose. By running water or a special refractive-index-matched fluid through the models they have been able to map the flow pattern through the nasal cavity to work out where air goes when you breathe in. Tiny coloured beads circulate through the model nose to simulate airflow and this is captured on fast digital cameras. Professor Bob Schroter who jointly leads the research said, "From quiet breathing to rapid sniffing, we want to know exactly what is happening."

The fluid dynamics of the nose is one of the most complex in the body, even more so than the flow of blood through the heart, with anatomical structures that cause eddies, whirls and recirculation.

Dr Denis Doorly, the other principal researcher, said, "People are used to the flows around an aeroplane being complicated but that is in some ways simpler than understanding the flows inside the nose. The geometry of the nose is highly complex, with no straight lines or simple curves like an aircraft wing and the regime of airflow is not simply laminar or turbulent."

The research has mapped the flow of air around anatomical landmarks in the nose, such as the conchae and has discovered why we need to breathe deeply to smell a flower. Our sense of smell relies on a sample of air reaching the olfactory bulb at the top of the nose and that requires a sharp breathe and a high velocity shot of air to reach it. The Imperial scientists have found that the geometry of the nose causes the air to eddy around in the vicinity of the bulb so you can smell the flower.

The research is a significant step forward from what had been learned about the nose from studying cadavers and animals, and may soon be helping surgeons plan their operations and drug companies to develop new ways of delivering drugs through the nose straight into the bloodstream – as well as new products to unblock the nose.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Biotechnology And Biological Sciences Research Council. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Biotechnology And Biological Sciences Research Council. "Scientists Find That The Human Nose Is More Complicated Than A Jumbo Jet." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 January 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050110123857.htm>.
Biotechnology And Biological Sciences Research Council. (2005, January 19). Scientists Find That The Human Nose Is More Complicated Than A Jumbo Jet. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050110123857.htm
Biotechnology And Biological Sciences Research Council. "Scientists Find That The Human Nose Is More Complicated Than A Jumbo Jet." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050110123857.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Doctors once thought artificial sweeteners lacked the health risks of sugar, but a new study says they can impact blood sugar levels the same way. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

AFP (Sep. 17, 2014) A healthy British volunteer is to become the first person to receive a new vaccine for the Ebola virus after US President Barack Obama called for action against the epidemic and warned it was "spiralling out of control." Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Researchers are puzzled as to why obesity rates remain relatively stable as average waistlines continue to expand. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins