- The sense of smell: a door to the emotion and memories. It’s popularly believed that the human sense of smell is almost irrelevant and far worse than that of other mammals. However, scientific evidence indicates that this classical view is too simplistic and does not reflect reality. Nowadays, we know that our sense of smell is essential for many basic functions related to obtaining pleasure or avoidance of hazards. Smell is also important in social relations, as we recognize and assign emotional values to odors of different people. This is especially relevant for understanding mother-child recognition or mate choice. Furthermore, the smells have the ability to evoke pleasant or unpleasant memories, indicating our ability to form lasting olfactory memories. In fact, the olfactory system is one of the few with the capacity to produce new neurons throughout life, which has been associated with an almost unlimited potential for recognizing and remembering new smells. The sense of smell seems to be one of the first to deteriorate in several neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Therefore, in recent years research in neurobiology olfatation in humans and other animal models has gained considerable interest. In this workshop, we intended to review several facts that demonstrate the importance of human olfaction.
- Living things: what they are and what they do. Our environment is full of living things that we don’t see because of its small size: microorganisms. They are present in the air, in the dirt, in the water and, of course, also in our body, both the skin and inside. Some of them cause disease but most of them live in equilibrium with the human body. Moreover, some of them are absolutely necessary for the proper functioning of the body, for example, facilitating the digestion of food and producing vitamins. In this session we observed different types of microscopic organisms, emphasizing their different shapes and sizes. We saw how they grow in the culture media in the laboratory and we observed the differences between them.
- Do we know what we are like on the inside? We observed several histological preparations through a microscope: cartilage, bone, neurons, blood cells, kidney, liver, etc … Parallel to the visit , there were two lectures on this topic.