15 May 2016

Quiz 6 : 10 Questions on Smells and Aromas - Answers

1. What connects the following odours - camphorlike, musky, floral, peppermintlike, ethereal (dry-cleaning fluid, for example), pungent (vinegarlike), and putrid ?

Ans: They are the seven basic odours , corresponding to the seven types of smell receptors in the olfactory-cell hairs

2. What is the common name for Halitosis ?

Ans: Bad breath or foul-smelling breath.

3. In Indian mythology, Sage Vyasa's mother always smelt of fish since she was born of a Nymph, cursed to be a fish. Later however, due to a blessing received from a wandering sage named Parashara, her smell changed to musk. What was her name ?

Ans : Satyavati, Also Matsyagandhi, Yojanagandha and Gandhavati  accepted.

4. The perfume 'Attar Mitti' made in perfume hubs like Kannauj in Uttar Pradesh and have a "Petrichor" aroma to it. In simpler terms, what does it smell like?

Ans: Smell of the earth at the time of first rains of monsoon.

5. Which compound has its origins in the Greek word for " to smell" ?

Ans: Ozone, from Greek ozein ‘to smell’. Now this was the answer that I was expecting until Annie gave the answer of Osmium, which too has the same etymology. However Osmium is not a compound and strictly speaking neither is Ozone (which is an allotropic form of Oxygen) hence the word 'compound' in the question can be misleading- In view of this points will be given to any substance that has the origin in the Greek word "to smell"

6. The cells of this plants have a chemical called alliin. When the cells are ruptured by cutting they release an enzyme called allinaise, which changes the inherent alliin  to allicin, a sulphur-containing molecule. This  results in which characteristically distinctive smell ?

Ans: The smell of Garlic

7.  In 1775 an English watchmaker named Alexander Cummings improved the design of the  flush toilet originally developed by  Sir John Harington  for Queen Elizabeth I. Which important innovation was added by Cummings to his design?

Ans: It  was the first toilet to include a water trap (S- type trap) in the exiting pipe that stopped odors from backing into the toilet room.  It survives in today's plumbing modified as a U- or J-shaped pipe trap located below or within a plumbing fixture.

8. Identify the artist.

Ans: Andy Warhol.

9. Which class of organic compounds are responsible for the disagreeable odor of flatulence, the characteristic smell of coffee and is added to the odourless LPG so that any leaks can be detected ?

Ans: Mercaptans or Thiol

10. They can be trained to sniff out  explosive materials including TNT, Semtex, C-4 and Uranium as well as gunpowder and propellants. Also they can detect early signs of fungal disease on crops, cancers and TB. No not sniffer dogs, these can be trained in less than five minutes and are increasingly being used world over for their smelling ability, which is more powerful than that of a sniffer dog. What creatures belonging to the Hymenoptera family am I talking about ?

Wasps and Bees. Sniffer wasps and Sniffer bees are being increasingly used these days. A device called the Wasp Hound odor detector, uses this very principle in its working.

1 comment:

  1. Scores of quiz 6 in random order.
    Ameya 15
    Annie 36
    Harman Singh 10
    Rajiv 10
    Gouthami 10
    Anil Rodrigues 4
    Ancil 5
    Paul 3
    Anant 5
    Vidyadhar Gadgil 7
    Ajey 10