June 17th, 2004


Swinging Voles

Via Flutterby:


Swingers may be slaves to genes
Scientists find promiscuous voles lack key brain function linked to monogamy

Alan Zarembo, Los Angeles Times

Scientists working with a ratlike animal called a vole have found that promiscuous males can be reprogrammed into monogamous partners by introducing a single gene into a specific part of their brains.

Once they have been converted, the voles hang around the family nests and even huddle with their female partners after sex.

"A mutation in a single gene can have a profound impact on complex social behavior," said Larry Young, a neuroscientist at Emory University who reported the results in the current issue of the journal Nature.

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