A large gene family
Axel and Buck searched for genes coding for proteins expressed exclusively in the olfactory epithelium.
Using molecular biology techniques they discovered a large set of genes coding for olfactory receptors. This large gene family is composed of several hundred different genes encoding receptor molecules.
Today we know that these genes represent around three per cent of the total number of genes in mammals.
Their work and discoveries range from how cells adapt to changes in levels of oxygen to our ability to fight global poverty.
See them all presented here.