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» Economics » Physician (20. Jh.) » Topics begins with L » Linda B. Buck

Page modified: Wednesday, July 13, 2011 14:03:33

Linda B. Buck (* 29 January 1947 in Seattle, Washington) is an US-American Neurophysiologin. For the study of the smelling system it was designated as for medicine 2004 together with Richard Axel. The official presentation took place on 10 December 2004.

Linda Buck is part of the working group for medical basic research at the Fred Hutchinson CAN cerium Research center as well as Professorin for physiology and biophysics at the Howard Hughes Medical of institutes (HHMI), before held it a Professur to the Harvard Medical School.

1991 discovered it together with Richard Axel, in which way humans and other animals are able, thousands of different taste and Geruchsstoffe to notice and differentiate. The moreover it created the bases for the molecular-genetic study of the sense of smell. In this way views could be created, as the sensory perception of smells and their transformation in nerve impulses and finally feeling answers in the brain function.

Already as Postdoktorandin with Richard Axel discovered it the genes, which contain the collecting mains for the receptors of the sense of smell.


The research of Linda Buck concerns itself with the question, how attractions will transfer to the brain. It concentrates, together with Richard Axel, on the range of the olfaktorischen attractions, thus on the processing of smell attractions. It examines the emergence and development of the smell receptors as well as the processing of smell attractions in the brain and their transformation in reactions, thoughts and behaviors.

The working group could identify a gene family of approximately 1000 genes, which are associated with the smell perception, by coding for different smell receptors. All these receptors are appropriate thereby in the smelling mucous membrane and are connected by nerves directly with the Bulbus olfactorius, thus for the brain region, which is responsible for the perception of smells. This region continues to lead the impressions on the one hand into the Cortex of the brain, where they are available for thought processes, on the other hand also to the Limbi system, affects which feelings and tendencies above all unconsciously.

By independent studies Axel and Buck could prove that each neuron heads for only one type of receptor and that in the smelling mucous membrane receptors developed the same are distributed after a coincidental sample, in the Bulbus olfactorius however all in the same region are noticed. In this way a compound smell feeling from different ranges of the mucous membranes develops in the brain.

Beside these work their work concerns itself with the study of aging and the genetic influence of the life-span by the example of the Fadenwurms Caenorhabditis elegans.


Buck is internationally of the Gairdner Award and the Lewis S. Rosenstiel Award.

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