WhatisLife_-_FALL_2010

WhatisLife_-_FALL_2010 - September 7, 2010 Science...

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September 7, 2010 Science Headlines “What is Life?”
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Could voles help create the perfect husband? By ANNE MCILROY He says he loves you, but doesn't want to settle down. Science soon may have an answer. Researchers have found a way to turn naturally promiscuous animals into monogamous ones , a discovery that one day could lead to a " commitment pill " for human males. Led by scientists at Emory University in Atlanta, the team worked with two species of voles. (Voles look like furry mice with short tails.) Male meadow voles are loners who like to “play the field” with females; prairie voles tend to get attached to one female.
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The researchers were able to change the meadow vole's natural tendency to philander by inserting a single gene that changed the way the pleasure centre in their brains worked . After a single treatment, they became as monogamous as prairie voles. Human males appear to have a similar system, which involves the hormone vasopressin , in their brains. Theoretically, the discovery opens the door to the possibility of medical treatment for men who have trouble committing to a relationship. Monogamy , as animal researchers define it , does not mean never having sex outside of a long-term relationship. Instead, they refer to social monogamy , which means settling down with one female, but not resisting temptation should opportunity present itself. Under this definition, former U.S. president Bill Clinton was monogamous.
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Topic: What is Life? I. Definition? A
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This note was uploaded on 01/27/2011 for the course ISB 202 taught by Professor Johnson during the Spring '08 term at Michigan State University.

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WhatisLife_-_FALL_2010 - September 7, 2010 Science...

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