Excerpt: “A deer’s sense of smell, like a dog’s, can be anywhere from five hundred to a thousand times more acute than a human’s.”
My comment: These are the commonly touted nonsensical comparisons that prevent people from realizing the importance of their sense of smell. The researchers would rather have you continue to believe that the sense of smell in other animals is superior to the human sense of smell when no experimental evidence suggests that is true. Like deer, dogs, and every other animal species on the planet, we can detect differences in the fatty acid content of food and differences in social odors, called pheromones, that vary with sickness.
Excerpt from a requested literature review, which I submitted 3/14/14:
“…if not for the human ability to detect fatty acid content in foods  and the human ability to detect social odors linked to sickness , this review might end here.”
The review links the epigenetic landscape to the physical landscape of DNA in the organized genomes of species from microbes to man via the ability to detect olfactory/pheromonal input. That ability is conserved across all species because the molecular mechanisms of nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled ecological adaptations are conserved across all species.
Across-species comparisons made by observing differences in behavior were addressed by Dobzhansky . “”The notion has gained some currency that the only worthwhile biology is molecular biology. All else is “bird watching” or “butterfly collecting.” Bird watching and butterfly collecting are occupations manifestly unworthy of serious scientists! ( p. 443)”
Fifty years later, we still have bird watchers and butterfly collectors telling us about differences in deer, dogs and humans. And the bird watchers and butterfly collectors presenting their nonsense at the meeting of the American Chemical Society have still learned nothing about molecular biology or conserved molecular mechanisms in species from microbes to man.
1. Boesveldt, S.; Lundstrom, J. N., Detecting Fat Content of Food from a Distance: Olfactory-Based Fat Discrimination in Humans. PLoS ONE 2014, 9 (1), e85977. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0085977
2. Olsson, M. J.; Lundström, J. N.; Kimball, B. A.; Gordon, A. R.; Karshikoff, B.; Hosseini, N.; Sorjonen, K.; Olgart Höglund, C.; Solares, C.; Soop, A., et al., The Scent of Disease: Human Body Odor Contains an Early Chemosensory Cue of Sickness. Psychol Sci 2014. doi: 10.1177/0956797613515681
3. Dobzhansky, T., Biology, molecular and organismic. American Zoologist 1964, 4 (4), 443-452.