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University of Bochum
Global Dharma - Magazine Web Edition > October/November/December 2014 - Publications - Hinduism Today Magazine
by Dr. Hans Hatt of Ruhr-Universität Bochum in Germany, skin cells can sense smell and respond positively to the application of synthetic sandalwood molecules.
While it is well known that humans have these olfactory receptors in their nose, this is the first time such receptors have been found in the outermost layer of skin cells. Dr. Hatt's research, which was published on July 8 in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology , shows that when synthetic sandalwood scent is in proximity of these receptors, the receptors trigger a calcium-dependent signal pathway. This pathway ensures a quicker migration of cells to damaged tissue. The activated receptors also caused a 32 percent increase in cell proliferation. Dr. Hatt told Time that this discovery could lead to further research in wound healing and even to applications for cancer, as T-cells-responsible for killing cancer cells-have olfactory receptors as well. Hatt stated, "I feel a mission to convince my colleagues, and especially clinicians, that this huge family of olfactory receptors plays an important role in cell physiology.
Sandalwood is a popular ingredient in perfumes and incense sticks and, in tests, Dr Hans Hatt of the Ruhr-University Bochum in Germany found that the smell of sandalwood caused changes in cell activity that could facilitate the healing of skin wounds.
life science design award: item engl
Professor Hanns Hatt, head of chair of cell physiology at the Ruhr University Bochum
Professor Hanns Hatt, head of chair of cell physiology at the Ruhr University Bochum, had the goal to decode the functions of the smelling receptors. At the end of this research project diagnosis and therapy methods will be created which take advantage of and change these natural functions. "The fact that also skin cells, cancer cells, kidney and sperms cells have olfactory receptors give us means to control them" explains Hatt.
Professor Hanns Hatt said the results published online in the Journal of Biological Chemistry can "be seen as evidence of a scientific basis for aromatherapy".
His team also hope that by changing the chemical structure of the scent molecules, they can achieve even stronger effects. They tested hundreds of fragrances to determine their effect on GABA receptors in humans and mice and found jasmine increased the GABA effect by more than five times and acted as strongly as sedatives, sleeping pills and relaxants which can cause depression, dizziness, hypotension, muscle weakness and impaired coordination. Prof Hatt, of the Ruhr University in Bochum, Germany, said: "We have discovered a new class of GABA receptor modulator which can be administered parentally and through the respiratory air.
life science design award: Presse englisch
The speakers are Prof. Hans Hatt, chair of cell physiology at the Ruhr-University Bochum, Prof. Dr. Peter Zec, president of the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen in Essen, and ICSID president elect, Montreal, as well as Prof. Uvo Hölscher, head of the use-lab of the University of Applied Sciences, Münster.