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A Model for Odour Thresholds

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Odor detection thresholds, that we have previously obtained, have been analysed by a general equation for selective transport. It is shown that such selective transport can account for some 77% of the total effect. The remainder is due to a specific size effect, that might involve odor-binding proteins, and a specific effect for aldehydes and carboxylic acids. Our analysis raises the question of whether selective transport is physically separable from the specific effects of receptor activation. The model predicts a chemical cut-off in odor detection along any homologous series.

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