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Science

Genetic Switches Behind 'Love' Identified In Prairie Voles 102

Posted by samzenpus
from the beady-eye-of-the-beholder dept.
ananyo writes "Researchers have shown for the first time that the act of mating induces permanent chemical modifications in the chromosomes (epigenetic changes), affecting the expression of genes that regulate sexual and monogamous behavior in prairie voles. Prairie voles have long been of interest to neuroscientists and endocrinologists who study the social behavior of animals, in part because this species forms monogamous pair bonds — essentially mating for life. The voles' pair bonding, sharing of parental roles and egalitarian nest building in couples makes them a good model for understanding the biology of monogamy and mating in humans (abstract)."
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Genetic Switches Behind 'Love' Identified In Prairie Voles

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  • Good model?!? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 03, 2013 @12:16PM (#43896895)

    The voles' pair bonding, sharing of parental roles and egalitarian nest building in couples makes them a good model for understanding the biology of monogamy and mating in humans

    A good model for ideal human behavior, sure, but actual behavior?!? One wonders if the researchers have met any actual human couples.

  • Or the opposite (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cellocgw (617879) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `wgcollec'> on Monday June 03, 2013 @12:24PM (#43896999) Journal

    Somehow I strongly doubt that any such epigenetic (or other) monogamy-influencing event takes place when humans mate.

  • Re:Except... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by femtobyte (710429) on Monday June 03, 2013 @01:22PM (#43897777)

    Humans aren't entirely monogamous, but along the spectrum observed in other species --- from rigid monogamy to "mate with anything that moves" --- humans are at least semi-monogamous; frequently pair-bonding, if not for life, at least for the relatively long period for offspring to be born and reach self-sufficient maturity. Understanding the biological mechanisms backing "strongly monogamous" mammalian behavior may also provide information about what biological mechanisms contribute to humans' less total tendencies towards monogamy.

  • Re:Except... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MightyYar (622222) on Monday June 03, 2013 @01:23PM (#43897797)

    Just because biology is talking, doesn't mean you have to listen.

    If that's your strategy, you probably are destined for disappointment. IMHO, it's best to learn how to identify and avoid situations that force you to confront your biology.

  • Re:Good model?!? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dcollins (135727) on Monday June 03, 2013 @02:22PM (#43898369) Homepage

    So you support a society in which everyone is permanently miserable, because it serves to successfully perpetuate the permanently-miserable society.

    Well, you're certainly not alone.

Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves. -- Lazarus Long

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