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Pheros for honest to goodness science

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I'm a microbiologist and immunologist, and I work with a lot of mice. One thing that I've noticed is that my mice are always more happy and placid than those of my male colleagues. I always assumed that it was because I was gentler and faster (thus not extending the period of being bothered by humans) than the boys in my lab, until I saw this article;




I'm actually really curious about this and was thinking that if I could get ethics approval it might be worth investigating, as stress is supposed to increase the pathology of most diseases, including the one I work with. Because of this, I was wondering if there were any LPMP pheros that are more of a "standard gender" type of molecule rather than a "hyper sexy" molecule. Any advice is most welcome!

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They manage to avoid saying 'pheromones' a few times there, geeze.

I'm guessing the main difference between the male researchers and female researchers would be the EST. I wonder if mice also respond to ovulation, menstruation, and pregnancy/breastfeeding in female researchers ? We haven't even begun to scratch the surface of this.

If I were you, I would test things like EST, pregnenolone, oxytocin. Oxytocin may have an effect on Autism, so that's super exciting research you would be joining.

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LOL! I am laughing my butt off! And they say that women are discouraged/given a hard time in the hard sciences by male colleagues! God knew what she was doing! LOL! If this isn't an argument for having more female researchers then I don't know what is! LOL!

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My first thought was that this could be due the rats being calmed by female pheromones, or agitated by male pheros like (androstenone), or a combination of both. It could also be something about males' body odor that has nothing to do with pheromones.


Also, I don't think that it matters whether a molecule is hyper sexy or not -- this is an interspecies effect, so what affect a molecule has between individuals of our species likely has no bearing on what they do to rats.


A good experiment to start with would be to simply do a controlled test exposing rats to male vs. female body odors in the absence of an actual human.

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Well I don't have any experience with mice but I know in very general terms dogs (&cats) tend to be more suspicious of strange men than women, even when they have male owners. I always thought that with dogs it may be more something developed genetically, men generally being the cattle or sheep rustlers, burglars and so on.


We did have a Guinea pig for 6 years and she liked my son and daughter equally. My brother had a GP as a kid for 8 years and it nuzzled him and slept on his stomach. Both were very relaxed in general. Of course they were kids and the GPs were their pets which changes the dynamic.


I didn't see it mentioned but do the women researchers tend to hold, touch, talk to, or keep the mice closer to them in general? Even in their cages? The proximity to humans, can also make a difference. I once read something about lab rats and the correlation between their stress levels and the location of their cages. For example the rats kept furthest away from people either those further up or in back who by default got less proximity and general interaction had higher stress levels.


I think, again generally, that there is precedence for some animals reacting strongly to strange men but the answer may be in both the gender of the researcher and their default habits in relating to the animals.

It is interesting as it could effect test results. Further research is definitely needed.


I'm not sure which pheros, if any, would make a difference.

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