Sex not on the brain, but in the nose: study

A mouseThe enormous difference between male and female sexual behaviour may be explained, in animals at least, by a tiny organ in the nose rather than by any gender difference in brain circuitry.

So say investigators in the United States, who admit to being stunned by the finding and the implications for the understanding of sexuality.

In a study published by the British journal Nature, the team engineered female lab mice so that the rodents lacked a gene called TRPC2, effectively short-circuiting the so-called vomeronasal organ.

This tiny organ in the nose is packed with receptor cells that pick up pheromones - primitive scents that trigger aggression and sexual responses in land-dwelling vertebrates.

To the scientists' surprise, the mutant female mice behaved like men at a Seventies disco night.

They sniffed and ran after females, flounced their pelvises, mounted and thrust at male mice, issuing ultrasonic squeaks of the kind that males emit to show lurv.

Source: ABC
Image: Captpiper / Flickr
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mshaw said…
I often wonder about things like this.
Spluch said…
That's what I like about science... always making interesting discoveries like this one. :)