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 cancer therapy and laser physics to developing proteins that can solve humankind’s chemical problems. The work of the 2018 Nobel Laureates also included combating war crimes, as well as integrating innovation and climate with economic growth. Find out more.