The Nobel Foundation
Odorant receptors and the organization of the olfactory system. View Detail
Richard Axel (left) and Linda Buck
American scientists Richard Axel and Linda Buck have been awarded this year's Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their work on the sense of smell. Published in 1991, their research solved the mystery of how the brain is able to recognize and distinguish between 10,000 different odors. Buck, who works at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle, and Axel, a Howard Hughes scholar at Columbia University, will split the $1.4 million award. NPR's Richard Knox reports.