Different noses for different people

Nat Genet. 2003 Jun;34(2):143-4. doi: 10.1038/ng1160.


Of more than 1,000 human olfactory receptor genes, more than half seem to be pseudogenes. We investigated whether the most recent of these disruptions might still segregate with the intact form by genotyping 51 candidate genes in 189 ethnically diverse humans. The results show an unprecedented prevalence of segregating pseudogenes, identifying one of the most pronounced cases of functional population diversity in the human genome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • African Continental Ancestry Group / genetics
  • Animals
  • Genome, Human
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Multigene Family
  • Pan troglodytes / genetics
  • Phenotype
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Pseudogenes
  • Receptors, Odorant / genetics*


  • Receptors, Odorant