Our sense of smell protects us from food poisoning and warns us of dangers like gas, smoke and fire. Newborns have already a fully developed sense of smell and know the unique scent of the mother´s breast.
But what´s the connection between cilia and the sense of smell? Everything we smell is giving off molecules that we breath in through our nose. These odor molecules are then detected by olfactory cells. These cells are equipped with a large number of cilia and function as gatekeepers for odor detection.
So, do people with ciliopathies suffer from olfactory dysfunction? We were able to investigate the sense of smell in various ciliopathies thanks to the many volunteers who participated in our study.