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Feathered Bloodhounds

Feathered Bloodhounds?
By Greg Miller, ScienceNOW Daily News

... In the new study, a team led by molecular ecologist Silke Steiger and her 
graduate adviser Bart 
Kempenaers at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Starnberg, Germany, 
searched for smell-
related genes in nine species representing seven major branches of the avian 
family tree. They 
looked for genes that encode olfactory receptors, which detect odors. 
Researchers generally 
assume that animals with a greater variety of receptors have a better sense of 
smell. Mice, for 
example, have close to 1000 working olfactory receptor genes, and humans have 
roughly 400...

...the researchers reported online 15 July in the Proceedings of the Royal 
Society B. "The sense of 
smell in birds may be as good as that of humans, and in some cases, even 
better," Steiger says. 

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Dann Pigdon
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Melbourne, Australia             http://heretichides.soffiles.com