Linda B. Buck, along with collaborator Richard Axel, discovered that a large part of the details they uncovered about the sense of smell are almost indistinguishable in rats, people and other creatures, although people have just about one third the number in rats. The work helped foster scientific curiosity about the potential existence of human pheromones, odorant molecules proven to activate sexual activity and specific other behaviour in several creatures, and won Buck and Axel the Nobel Prize in 2004. Linda Brown Buck was created on January 29, 1947, in Seattle, Washington. The middle daughter of an electrical engineer as well as a stay at home mom, she was inspired by her parents’ interests in devising and solving puzzles.
In 1975, Buck graduated in the University of Washington with bachelor’s degrees in psychology and microbiology. Buck subsequently set out to comprehend the inner workings of the olfactory system. Although it have been confirmed that people and other mammals were able of detecting some 10,000 distinctive scents, the underlying mechanics of this procedure remained a puzzle.
Within the span of many years, Buck uncovered a sizable number of genes which are related to olfactory receptor cells. The cells, which are located in the top portion of the lining of the nose, each host just one odorant receptor. Before her research, the presence of the receptors hadn’t been discovered. She and Axel printed a paper on their discovery in 1991.
Through her research, Buck could ascertain the method by which the brain processed various sorts of odors. She and her fellow researchers pieced together a portrait of the means by which the brain’s olfactory bulb functioned. Axel continues to work in the facility’s fundamental sciences section, as well as serves as an investigator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.