Gene therapy has been used to give mice born without a sense of smell the ability to sniff their surroundings, an international team of researchers say.
The mice had a genetic disease which affected microscopic hairs in their body - called cilia - which can detect chemicals in the air.
Researchers hope their findings will lead to treatments for diseased cilia, which can cause blindness, deafness and kidney disease in people.
The study is in Nature Medicine.
Microscopic cilia stick out from many cells in the body. A range of genetic disorders called ciliopathies result in damaged cilia which can be fatal or severely debilitating. One symptom can be a lifetime without a sense of smell, called congenital anosmia.
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