Thoughts about sinus drainage and mucus are not pleasant. Who has not been frustrated by the feeling of a raw nose caused by excessive nose-blowing during a cold? Have you ever wondered why mucus in your nose (more commonly called snot) is there? It just so happens that snot provides a vital tool that enhances your body’s ability to smell.
For many years, researchers have attempted to design electronic “noses” that can differentiate between smells. Such noses have a host of potential uses, including being used in airports to identify chemicals used in explosives. Researchers, however, have failed to master the art of smell. The “e-nose” simply cannot perform to the level of a human nose. Recent research, however, is sniffing out new ways to make the e-nose more useful.
Researchers from the University of Warwick and Leicester University came up with a novel idea. They composed a substance that mimics the properties of naturally occurring nose mucus. This synthetic snot “substantially improved the performance of their electronic nose allowing it to tell apart smells such as milk and banana which had previously been challenging smells for the device” (“Artificial ‘Snot’...,” 2007). Furthermore, the artificial snot helped the electronic nose process the information quicker. The teams involved in the research reported their findings in the Proceedings of the Royal Society in April of 2007.
When asked about the new research, Anthony Turner of Cranfield University said that the study shows the importance of looking to biology to find useful innovations. He said: “It’s important to keep learning from it [biology—KB]” (Simonite, 2007). Notice that Turner attributes the innovations discovered by the researchers to biology. What does that imply? If intelligent men and women from campuses across the globe log thousands of man-hours to design an electronic nose, and base much of their research on naturally occurring substances and functions in a biologic nose, but the electronic nose fails to perform as well as a real nose, then we are forced to conclude that the naturally occurring nose was designed by a superior intellect to the ones now working on the electronic nose. Yet, when asked the origin of the biologic nose, many highly educated university professors would claim it evolved over millions of years by random, purposeless evolutionary processes. Ironically, they are forced to concede that the electronic nose has a design. Such disconnected thinking would be ridiculed in other disciplines, but somehow it finds a welcomed haven in the halls of evolutionary sciences. In truth, it is simple to sniff out the divine design of the nose.
“Artificial ‘Snot’ Enhances Electronic Nose” (2007), Science Daily, April 30, [On-line], URL: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070430093948.htm.
Simonite, Tom (2007), “Mucus Substitute Helps Artificial Nose Scent Success,” New Scientist, April 25, [On-line], URL: http://www.newscientisttech.com/article/dn11715-mucus-substitute-helps -artificial-nose-scent-success.html.
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