Technology

Life in the Pits: Scientists Identify the Key Enzyme Behind Body Odor


Scientists have discovered a unique enzyme responsible for the pungent characteristic smell we call body odor or BO.


Now the same team, in collaboration with Unilever scientists, has gone a step further to discover a unique “BO enzyme” found only within these bacteria and responsible for the characteristic armpit odor.


Co-first author Dr. Michelle Rudden from the group of Prof. Gavin Thomas in the University of York’s Department of Biology, said: “Solving the structure of this ‘BO enzyme’ has allowed us to pinpoint the molecular step inside certain bacteria that makes the odor molecules.


This is a key advancement in understanding how body odor works, and will enable the development of targeted inhibitors that stop BO production at source without disrupting the armpit microbiome.”


Furthermore, the researchers say that this “BO enzyme” was present in S. hominis long before the emergence of Homo sapiens as a species, suggesting that body odor existed prior to the evolution of modern humans, and may have had an important role in societal communication among ancestral primates.


It was fascinating to discover that a key odor-forming enzyme exists in only a select few armpit bacteria — and evolved there tens of millions of years ago.”






Powered by Blogger.