THE NOSE SMELLS!: The cells in our nose have protein receptors which bind to chemicals in the air. Each kind of receptor can only detect specific chemical compositions, producing the sensation of different smells. The brain receives signals from the cells in the nose, and we perceive that as a smell. These receptor proteins are produced from about 1,000 different genes: almost 3 percent of our total gene count.
RECONSTRUCTING HEARTS, TOO: For some patients undergoing surgery for congestive heart failure, there's a new tool: a plastic device, called a mannequin, which is inserted into the ventricle and inflated to the size of a healthy heart. The patient's heart wall is then molded around the device. When it's perfectly shaped, the device is deflated and removed, giving the patient increased chances of post-operation success.
The Optical Society of America contributed to the information contained in the TV portion of this report.