Human tears, once believed to be emotional signals without a biological function, actually contain a chemical that reduces sexual attraction, arousal, and testosterone levels in men, according to a new study published online today (January 6) by linkurl:Science.;
"It is convincing," said linkurl:Kennedy Wekesa,; a biologist at Alabama State University who was not involved in the research. "Given studies of chemosignals in mice, it's not surprising that humans also have chemosignals in bodily fluids such as tears."Previous studies have demonstrated that mouse tears contain chemosignals or pheromones -- excreted chemicals that trigger a behavioral response in other mice, such as aggression in males or acceleration of puberty in females. Yet human tears were long thought to serve simply as an emotional signal -- a communication trait unique to our species.But three years ago, while testing the effect of tears on mood in people, linkurl:Noam Sobel; and colleagues...
The Scientist.Gelstein, S., et al., "Human tears contain a chemosignal," Science, doi: 10.1126/science.1198331

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