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    Full Member DAdams91982's Avatar
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    Default Just a little off the top

    Eau de Pheromone?

    Compared with many other creatures, human guys and gals simply

    don't rely too heavily on their noses for sniffing out a Macarena partner. But new studies suggest that our sense

    of smell may be more important than was previously assumed. In fact, says Alan Hirsch, neurological director at the

    Smell & Taste Treatment Research Foundation in Chicago, people can lose sexual function if they lose their sense of


    Some researchers think olfactory research in animals may help explain human behaviors. Let's start with

    mice. Claus Wedekind, a zoologist at Bern University in Switzerland, says female mice sniff for mating partners with

    DNA that's different from their own, to help their offspring resist a wider range of diseases. Specifically,

    Wedekind says, female mice look for a mate with a different MHC (major histocompatibility complex), a protein

    complex that lets the immune system know when disease is present, spurring killer T cells into action. Similarly,

    researchers say, human females are more likely to be turned on by a guy's body odor if he has different MHC.

    Even if a gal turns up her nose at first, researchers have learned, a relationship may flower later, when her body

    is more receptive. In studies at the Ludwig-Bolzman-Institut in Vienna, 290 young women who were ordinarily turned

    off by androsterone (a key component in a guy's sweat) were less grossed out by it while they were ovulating.

    Androsterone, it seems, may act as a pheromone that sorts women, increasing the likelihood of fertilization by

    making even smelly guys seem more appealing. In a companion study, 66 nonsmoking guys were asked to sniff water or

    copulines (that's right--components of female vaginal secretions). Next, researchers asked the guys to check out

    photographs of women and rate their attractiveness. Because the scent of a woman made guys give women higher marks,

    researchers say copulines may help level the reproduction playing field, allowing all women to compete in the

    reproductive game.

    Fragrance makers have been adding animal pheromones to their products for centuries. Alas,

    animal pheromones may work better for pigs and deer than for humans. In 1993, however, the Erox Corp. in Northern

    California started selling fragrances based on synthetic versions of human pheromones, isolated from skin tissue by

    researcher David Berliner, now chief executive officer of Pherin Corp. in Menlo Park, CA. After sniffing Erox

    fragrances, sold under the RealmÂȘ product name, company literature says, women feel warm and sensual, while men

    supposedly gain confidence. The company is careful to steer clear of aphrodisiac claims, but it points out that the

    vomeronasal organ (VNO), a tiny cone-shaped receptor inside the nasal passages of most mammals, may be a pheromone

    receptor in humans. Because the human VNO wasn't thought to respond to odors, researchers had long described it as

    a nonfunctional artifact of evolution. But new studies, primarily by Berliner and crew, suggest that pheromones

    cause the VNO to trigger nerve impulses linked to the hypothalamus--the part of the brain that controls your

    fight-or-flight response, hunger ... and yes, your sex drive.

    Can find the full article at




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    Last edited by oscar; 08-10-2004 at 05:40 AM. Reason: Inserting Link

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