New research indicates mouse nose detects most pheromones governing reproduction
Scientists at Harvard University have found strong signs that the pheromones driving reproduction and fertility in mice are detected primarily by the nose -- not by the specialized vomeronasal system that many researchers had suspected of receiving and processing the bodily chemicals that govern mating behavior. The unexpected finding may settle an ongoing scientific debate by providing evidence that key reproductive behaviors in mice arise predominantly, if not exclusively, from olfactory input instead of input from the vomeronasal, visual or auditory senses.
The results, from a team led by Harvard biologist Catherine Dulac, appear on the web site of the journal Cell this week, and will be published in the journals Nov. 18 issue.
Steve Bradt | EurekAlert!
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