Genes mean ladies like friends and partners that smell like their father.
Nice smile but does he smell like dad?
Bachelors - ditch the Old Spice and don your prospective father-in-laws clothes. Women prefer the scent of their dad, a study shows, and may choose their friends and partners accordingly.
Nervous new boyfriends can live or die by the nod of a dates daunting dad. But Carole Ober and her team at the University of Chicago in Illinois have found a more fundamental fatherly influence: women prefer the smells of men whose gene selection matches their dads1.
Sniffing the sheets
Women in Obers study snuffed mens two-night-old T-shirts. "Think of what your pillow and sheets smell like," suggests McClintock. These scents were presented to women, disguised in a box, alongside faint household odours such as clove, bleach and fresh laundry.
Men in the line-up each carried a different array of MHC genes, which are involved in fighting disease. Like vacillating brides, women were asked which scent they would choose if they had to smell it for the rest of their lives.
Women chose the scent of men whose array of MHC genes was similar to their own, the team found. The similar genes also matched, and were inherited from, the womans father.
Their choice was not down to familiarity with the odour from childhood. Women did not prefer the smell of a man whose MHC genes matched their fathers but not their own. If the preference were based simply on memory of the fathers smell, women would be less picky. "The genes are driving the preference," says McClintock.
Same but different
Each person carries a unique combination of MHC genes, which help to recognize foreign cells in the body. An earlier smelly T-shirt study showed that women choose men whose selection is different from their own2. This seems to conflict with Obers study, in which women preferred a whiff of genetic similarity.
Inbreeding with genetically similar partners can cause problems in children - but outbreeding with partners whose genes are totally different can also spell trouble. Choosing partners with an intermediate blend of disease-fighting genes may give future children the best chance of survival, the team suggests.
HELEN PEARSON | © Nature News Service
Fingerprint' technique spots frog populations at risk from pollution
27.03.2017 | Lancaster University
Parallel computation provides deeper insight into brain function
27.03.2017 | Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
27.03.2017 | Earth Sciences
27.03.2017 | Life Sciences
27.03.2017 | Life Sciences