Olfaction

Sensory Cascades and Pathways – Natural and Artificial Neural Networks

Artificial neural networks are used to mimic the functionalities of the brain via computing systems. This paper will first examine the general structure and function of artificial neural networks, as well as their similarities and differences to the brain’s neural network, after which they are modelled. Then, the essay will…

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Animal Communication: A Chemical Review

Chemical reactions are the base of our universe. From the light of the sun to the function of our own brains, chemical reactions are behind it. It is therefore not unrealistic to imagine that communication can also be explained by chemical reactions. This paper examines the chemistry behind different forms…

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Chemical Basis of Signal Sensing

Evolution and the adaptation of different species to different ecological niches has resulted in a vast array of differences between the sensory systems of those animals, with some animals gaining new adaptive sensory capabilities and others losing the ones they no longer need for survival. This paper will discuss four…

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Master of Camouflage: Chemical Deception in Insect and Plant Species

When the topic of camouflage and mimicry is discussed, it is often associated with the idea of colors and complex patterning. The visual aspect of camouflage is something that many are familiar with. Plenty of organisms express an array of vibrant colours and deceiving visuals for both protection and methods…

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Courtship and Mating: The Chemistry of Pheromones and Their Evolutionary Function

In this essay we investigate the chemistry involved in the reproductive process. Courtship and mating practices are not limited to physical and auditory pursuits. Pheromones cause innate chemical allurement between compatible animals. There are a wide range of pheromones, and each have their own specific properties and functions. Different pheromones…

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An Overview of Chemical Communications in Interspecies Mutualism Relationships

From the first living beings (bacteria, protozoa) to that of the most organized beings (mammals, insects, etc.), chemical communication, in the form of molecular exchange, has been an essential and universally used communication system. However, this system has only been studied for less than a hundred years, while the vision…

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Use of Chemosensors in Foraging Animals

All animals must search for and collect the substances they consume in order to survive. However, this foraging process is not as simple as it may seem, and this leads these various animals towards strategies which can maximize the efficiency of this essential task. Being that animals reside within chemically…

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Physiological and Behavioral Adaptations in Migratory Animals

Migration is a fascinating phenomenon that occurs in many disparate corners of the animal kingdom. To better understand how it works, its similarities, and its differences in relation to variation across species we have explored eight different examples. The microstructure of the Bean Goose’s feather allows durable and light flight.…

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An Analysis of Sensors and Systems of Artificial Noses

In the past couple decades, the field of artificial organs has seen immense progress, such as more comfortable prosthetic limbs and artificial livers. However, in recent years, a need for a technology able to detect the presence of molecules that the human nose cannot has emerged, leading to the creation…

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Taste in Birds

For a long time, it was agreed that birds did not have a sense of taste, or that if they did, it was minimal (Rowland et al., 2015). In fact, research into whether they even had taste buds only began 50 years after taste organs were described for fish, amphibia,…

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The Biochemical Basis for Olfaction

Often, only the sense of sight and hearing are considered essential to understanding the world in which humans live in. In practice, however, the sense of smell, or olfaction, plays an important role in everyday tasks that are taken for granted. For example, the ability to taste food is highly…

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The Nose: An Examination and Comparison of the Turbinate Structures of Aquatic Animals, Terrestrial Caniformia, and Humans

In recent years, researchers have studied biological systems with an engineering perspective, and have found that structures in nature are designed to respond to a specific function. The nose is one example of how evolution has formed a diversity of shapes for the same structure to accommodate the species’ needs…

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