Flies lacking pheromones go crazy for sex
Researchers have discovered a class of pheromones that allow fruit flies to sexually control themselves. Eliminating those chemicals results in no-holds-barred sexual activity ... to the point of ignoring gender and species.
Tue, Oct 20, 2009 at 07:00 PM
FRUITFUL FLIES: Researchers study the details of the sex lives of fruit flies. (Photo: ZUMA Press)
What’s a sure and easy way to incite a sexual free-for-all? Cut out some important pheromones … at least that’s what those household fruit flies will tell you. MSNBC reports that a new study has been published in the journal Nature suggesting that pretty important things, like gender recognition and sexual urges in fruit flies, may be tied to a certain class of pheromones.
When researchers from the University of Toronto eliminated a particular group of pheromones from male fruit flies being studied, they found that not only were the flies attracted to other male fruit flies, but also the female flies that lacked the pheromones became irresistible to even flies of other species!
"These pheromones provide recognition cues that facilitate reproductive behavior. Lacking these chemical signals (pheromones) eliminated barriers to mating," said Joel Levine, a biology professor at the University of Toronto.
What might this mean for humans?
Maybe it means that we men should be thankful for those barrier-causing pheromones being emitted from our lovely women. The she-folk are already irresistible enough … imagine if they lacked the pheromones that actually gave us a fighting chance against our impulses!
Professor Levine did go on to say, "One thing is certain: the cues for attraction are far more complex in our species. We may rely more on the visual system. We may have a more complex way of assessing other individuals and classifying them and determining how we're going to relate to them than a fly does."
I’d be willing to bet that yes, we are more complex than a fruit fly (at least women are … I’m not so sure about us guys). It does make you wonder though, is gender orientation caused by either the presence or lack of certain chemicals in our bodies? Maybe so. Only time and research will tell.