You can sniff out others’ ageMay 31st, 2012 - 9:48 pm ICT by IANS
Washington, May 31 (IANS) A US study has shown how one’s age can be an open book for anyone with a good smelling sense.
Through individuals’ body odour, volunteers participating in a study were able to distinguish among the young, the middle-aged and the elderly, Daily Mail reported.
Contrary to popular perception, the old person’s smell was interestingly rated less intense and unpleasant than individuals of other age groups.
Scientists took samples of armpit odour from three groups of individuals aged 20-30, 45-55 and 75-95. They were asked to sleep for five nights in T-shirts, containing underarm pads which were cut up and placed in glass jars.
A total of 41 evaluators, aged 20-30, were then given these sample to sniff and assess. They were expected to decide which sample was from the older donor and to rate the intensity and pleasantness of each odour.
Evaluators were able to discriminate between the three age categories, the American researchers reported in the online journal Public Library of Science ONE.
Lead researcher Johan Lundstrom, from Monell Chemical Senses Centre, Philadelphia, said: “Similar to other animals, humans can extract signals from body odours that allow us to identify age, avoid sick individuals, pick a suitable partner and distinguish kin from non-kin.”
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Tags: age categories, age groups, american researchers, armpit odour, body odour, body odours, daily mail, glass jars, intensity, johan, lundstrom, middle aged, monell, old person, perception, pleasantness, public library of science, researcher, sick individuals, suitable partner