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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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ScienceShot: An Anti-Aphrodisiac
21 October 2011 12:17 pm
Think of it as the anti-"Axe effect." Unlike the fragrant body spray some guys douse themselves with to attract women, male plant bugs (Lygus hesperus) deposit something on females that keeps members of the opposite sex away. Now researchers say they've figured out the secret of this sexual deterrent. In the November issue of Animal Behaviour, a team reports the identification of a chemical compound known as myristyl acetate in the male plant bug spermatophore, a capsule containing sperm that is transferred to the female during copulation. When the scientists applied this compound on virgin females, males fled. The "anti-aphrodisiac" doesn't just help the male keep the female to himself; it also prevents other males from wasting their time courting a female that's not going to mate with him. And because plant bugs damage crops across North America, the researchers hope the discovery will lead to new ways to combat the insects without the need for nasty pesticides.
See more ScienceShots.