05/01/2014 - 11:09

The human body produces chemical cues that communicate gender to members of the opposite sex, according to researchers who report their findings in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on May 1. Whiffs of the active steroid ingredients (androstadienone in males and estratetraenol in females) influence our perceptions of movement as being either more masculine or more feminine. The effect, which occurs completely without awareness, depends on both our biological sex and our sexual orientations.


07/25/2012 - 17:05

A University of California, Davis, discovery that male navel orangeworms respond more readily to artificial or "deceitful" female sex pheromones than to natural sex pheromones could lead to a better mating disruption approach, resulting in a reduced larval infestation of California's multibillion almond, pistachio and walnut crops.

07/12/2012 - 07:03

Hormone-mimicking chemicals released into rivers have been found to impact the mating choices of fish, a new study has revealed. The controversial chemical BPA, which emits oestrogen-like properties, was found to alter an individual’s appearance and behavior, leading to inter-species breeding. The study, published in Evolutionary Applications, reveals the threat to biodiversity when the boundaries between species are blurred.

04/13/2012 - 11:48

All animals seem to have ways of exchanging information—monkeys vocalize complex messages, ants create scent trails to food, and fireflies light up their bellies to attract mates. Yet, despite the fact that nematodes, or roundworms, are among the most abundant animals on the planet, little is known about the way they network. Now, research led by California Institute of Technology (Caltech) biologists has shown that a wide range of nematodes communicate using a recently discovered class of chemical cues.

12/19/2011 - 17:56

A North Carolina State University discovery of the unique chemical composition of a cockroach signal – a “Let’s hook up” sex pheromone emitted by certain female wood cockroaches to entice potential mates – could have far-ranging benefits, including improved conservation of an endangered woodpecker.

12/02/2011 - 11:04

Together with his doctoral student, Christoph von Beeren, Witte has now shown that silverfish that form close associations with ants do not make the odor compounds themselves. Instead, they steal them directly from their hosts, in this case an Asian species of army ant. Simply by rubbing itself against the surface cuticle of colony members, the silverfish picks up the characteristic mixture of chemicals that identifies the bearer as an inhabitant. This enables the intruder to successfully infiltrate and become socially integrated into the nest.