Thursday, October 25, 2007

Human Pheromones

Luring women into our bay in the lab is pretty easy. However between coats of axe body spray I would consider preying on the more basal instincts of female labmates by using human pheromones. The question is: Are human pheromones functional?
What is almost for sure is that humans are not like many other mammals that demonstrate behavioral responses to pheromones. Especially since adult humans lack a functional vomeronasal organ and many known pheromone receptor genes in other mammals are pseudogenes in humans.
Human pheromones are commercially available but unregulated, so you don't know really what you are purchasing.
The first discovered human pheromone is androstenone and its effects on human behavior are questionable. However there are some indications that these compounds might be able to attract some females to my messy lab bench. A short, sweet and recent article in SciAm details how different human genotypes respond very differently to this compound. And brain responses measured by PET scan to a related compound correlate with sexual orientation, validated in both homosexual males and females.
Human behavior is very complex and it is kind of strange to think that smells could have powerful effects on us. To add to the complexity it has been shown some species prefer mates with dissimilar genes at the MHC locus since polymorphism of this locus may have a selective advantage. These genes are also thought to influence body odour. Suggestively, responses to body odour in humans demonstrates differing brain activity based on the similarity of the MHC locus in humans (HLA) between odour donor and smeller. Therefore genotype compatibility may influence the choice of mates through body odour as opposed to simply the volume of stink of a potential mate choice. Baiting our bay with pheromones may require a very sophisticated approach.


Bayman said...

You don't even want to know what effect left-handed pheromones have on the ladies...

The Doc said...

Particuarly those females within their own family.
This is actually how lefties maintain their inbred status.

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Maybe I can use this to attract my crush. Where I can buy that?

eula w

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