Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Social Deodorization

AKA Life Without Body Odor, Coming Soon

Life in the pits - Scientists identify the key enzyme behind body odor
Aug 2020,

We already knew the bacterium Staphylococcus hominis was the culprit, but these researchers have identified the specific enzyme (C-T lyase) in the bacteria that turns our odorless sweat into body odor, or what scientists call thiolalcohol. So now we can create a model of that enzyme, and figure out how to deactivate it. 

There's not enough science fiction out there looking at a society without body odor. Just kidding, this is already reality. And what happens is, the people who don't smell still use deodorant, because the people who do smell have just enough spending power to sustain a global corporate personal hygiene complex so powerful it can influence you to deodorize yourself even if you have no odor in the first place. 

If you're interested in this sort of thing, soft paywall to the New York Times about Unilever's attempts to sell deodorant in China, "a market with 2.6 billion armpits" (2018).

via University of York and Unilever: The molecular basis of thioalcohol production in human body odour, Scientific Reports (2020). DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-68860-z

Post Script:
The smell of your breath is a subset of body odor. 
Research reveals details of how salivary glands collectively produce constellation of proteins found in saliva
Nov 2020,

What's in your saliva? Here you go. They don't tell you what it smells like, but with this info you'll be halfway there. Also, "oral biofluid" is science for saliva.

Also, in case you were wondering, "cysteine-rich secretory protein 3 (CRISP3) ... is expressed by human labial glands."

via University at Buffalo: Marie Saitou et al. Functional Specialization of Human Salivary Glands and Origins of Proteins Intrinsic to Human Saliva. Cell Reports Volume 33 Issue 7, 108402, Nov 17, 2020. DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2020.108402

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