B.O. Gives Up Its Stinky Secrets
Body odor. The smell of B.O. is unmistakable. And the culprit behind that signature stench is a molecule called thioalcohol. Our noses are so attuned to it, we can pick up quantities as small as one part per trillion. But here's the mystery: How does that stinky substance get there in the first place?
Well, it turns out bacteria named Staphylococcus hominis is the major perpetrator, along with a few of its relatives. Their genes code for enzymes that snip the molecules in our sweat to pieces - creating the offensive thioalcohols, along with bits of food for the bacteria - 'cause, hey, bacteria gotta eat, too.