The researchers found zero value for our stinking source.
The same team that identified a handful of bacteria responsible for the smell of the human body has now taken a step further and pinpointed the enzyme that works in those organisms. True fragrant molecules are created by the enzyme cysteine thiol lysis (CT lipase) in bacteria such as Staphylococcus hominis, which have inspired the entire deodorant industry to make them.
“This is a major breakthrough in understanding how body odor works, and it will allow the development of targeted inhibitors that stop the production of BO in its place without damaging the armpit microbiome,”; York University researcher Michelle Rudden said in a statement.
Rudden is a co-author of an article on the enzyme published by Scientific Reports on Monday. The researchers have collaborated with researchers at personal care giant Unilever, who can use the new insight to develop new deodorants.
Probably the most interesting finding of the research is that these stinking enzymes have been with humans since, yes … since we were humans. Researchers argue that this co-existed with our primate ancestors prior to the evolution of modern humans and may have played a key role in public communication; Primates are known to use scents to send a message, such as “back.”
“This study was a real eye opener,” said Gordon James, co-author of Unilever. “It was interesting to know that the main odor-forming enzyme exists in only a few underarm bacteria and evolved there tens of millions of years ago.”