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January 14

The cure for what ails you

Filed under: News — posted by Chris @ 9:19 am

If you are not yet sick of science stories that tell us Love is strictly a chemical reaction, Monday’s New York Times had an interesting piece on some research being reported in the new issue of Nature.

When a female prairie vole’s brain is artificially infused with oxytocin, a hormone that produces some of the same neural rewards as nicotine and cocaine, she’ll quickly become attached to the nearest male. A related hormone, vasopressin, creates urges for bonding and nesting when it is injected in male voles (or naturally activated by sex). After Dr. Young found that male voles with a genetically limited vasopressin response were less likely to find mates, Swedish researchers reported that men with a similar genetic tendency were less likely to get married.

Writer John Tierney is much more interested in using the research to develop an anti-love vaccine that could inoculate people against quickie marriages and other ill-advised pairings. Is there something he’s not telling us?


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