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Biotech Science

Pheromonal Mind Control Mellows Moody Mutts 41

StefanJ writes "Two researchers at the Royal School of Veterinary Studies at the University of Edinburgh have been experimenting with DAP (Dog Appeasing Pheromone) a chemical that calms down dogs. The study described in this press release subjected dogs in a shelter to the hormone. The homeless animals barked less, and reacted better to visitors. I've heard that realtors prepping a house for show sometimes put a drip or two of vanilla extract on a kitchen stovetop, in the theory that this particular scent makes people feel at home. A specific Human Appeasing Hormone would really up the ante. You spray it on elementary school kids when the weather is nice, or when a substitute teacher is due. And on jail inmates. And people in malls who are sitting on benches instead of shopping, the damn freeloaders! Oh, Brave New World, that has such psychoactive scents in it!"
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Pheromonal Mind Control Mellows Moody Mutts

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  • Fine and good for the pooches in the study to be so calm. For me, though, it's Klonopin [druginfonet.com] that actually seems to do the trick (note from your zoo-keeper required [rxed.org]).
  • hmm (Score:4, Funny)

    by kurosawdust ( 654754 ) on Monday April 26, 2004 @11:45PM (#8979871)
    this is an excellent idea. It is with this in mind that I will invent a nasally-administered substance to calm human beings down. I shall call it "Co-nostrilinial Novocaine", or "cocaine" for short. To the patent office!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Only Slashdoters wouldn't list the one blindingly obvious use for calming pheremones... chix0rs!
    • ...of course we were all thinking it though. Just remember Revenge of the Nerds, while all jocks do it think about sports, all nerds think about is sex.

      Seriously though, pheremone colognes have been out for a long time, but now it seems they actually got them to work decently well. Though my initial reaction was that it would be sweet to just spray a little on and get all the chicks you want, but I do believe dating shouldn't be reduced to chemical warfare. At that point, the geeks will win for a while, bu
  • by BrynM ( 217883 ) * on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @12:10AM (#8980056) Homepage Journal
    The idea of a "shopping pheremone" would bring lots of unexpected behavior, I bet. On 99.9% of the population it could work... until that wacko that associated shopping with going on a shooting spree and can't help himself from raiding the sporting goods department. Talk about your "devil made me do it" plea!

    "I couldn't stop shooting. Everyone just smelled like they needed to be dead."

    People think erratically enough. Pushing behavior in such a casual way is a dangerous thing.

    • I read in a book on cosmetics [amazon.co.uk] recently that humans neither emit nor react to pheromones as animals do. In fact human females are distinct from other primates in that they ovulate secretly (from an olfactory standpoint anyway)
    • There already is a 'shopping scent' you can get, and add to air-conditioners for 'refresher/sanitation' purposes, and it works. My friend, a mall manager in SoCal, knows all too well that the state of his air-conditioner drives business.

      I agree, also, that we should not promote this behaviour. I find it incorrigible that US companies are allowed to develop/research such things as commercial scent vectors, but yet there is still an "American Morality" about such things as chemical warfare ...
  • Useful (Score:4, Funny)

    by $exyNerdie ( 683214 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @12:26AM (#8980161) Homepage Journal
    animals barked less
    Wish I could one day use this on the lady in the next cubicle at work. Boy what a constant distraction her phone talk is !!

    • It relaxes/calms the people you use it on. In the situation you described, YOU'D be the one in need of the pheromone.
    • Re:Useful (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      "Corporate Accounts Payable, Nina speaking... Just a moment"
      "Corporate Accounts Payable, Nina speaking... Just a moment"
      "Corporate Accounts Payable, Nina speaking... Just a moment"
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @12:35AM (#8980242)
    The best way to mellow out a dog,
    from the dog's point of view.
    A long walk through the woods.
    Followed by a pork chop or steak.
    Then a long belly rub.
  • Old News (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I got a spam e-mail pitching me magical pheremones well over two weeks ago. /. is falling behind.
  • by dnahelix ( 598670 ) <slashdotispieceofshit@shithome.com> on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @01:02AM (#8980426)
    "The pungent vinegar and tangy Roquefort block the smell receptors, rendering the bully harmless." -L.S.
  • by beeplet ( 735701 ) <beeplet@gmail.com> on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @01:55AM (#8980778) Journal
    There is a similar product [feliway.com] already on the market for cats. I have to wonder, though, whether long-term use would be harmful, for example by desensitizing the animal to certain pheremones. If a cat or dog suddenly finds that everything smells "comforting", you might end up a few years later with an even more nervous animal that doesn't feel comfortable anywhere. I think I'll stick to old fashioned training with my cats...
    • Ahhhh, thank goodness other people think like I do.

      It is possible that it is "hard wired" enough to be invariant, but given the adaptability of most higher order animals I would highly doubt it.


    • I recommend it (Score:2, Interesting)

      by nmnilsson ( 549442 )
      I recommend this spray wholeheartedly.

      When we moved to a new apartment three years ago, our cat started peeing (not just spraying) in odd places.
      I called the vet, who suggested the spray.
      We used it - for about a month - until she stopped peeing and started marking the areas herself (now with her facial scent glands).
      • How do you know that in a month she wouldn't have gotten used to the place anyway?
        • Re:I recommend it (Score:4, Interesting)

          by wayne606 ( 211893 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @10:45AM (#8983957)
          Never had a cat who sprayed, huh?

          I tried it with my male cat and it didn't work... Too stubborn I guess.

          The way that this stuff works is by converting the urge to mark using spraying (which is not really urine, but an oily substance made by separate glands) into an urge to mark using facial hormones. That's why cats rub their faces on people - to mark their territory.
  • Seriously though... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by l1_wulf ( 602905 )
    In all seriousness, think of the practicaly applications for hikers, hunters and trail enthusiasts. Bobcat problem? Bears? Wouldn't it be nice if you happened to stumble upon a normally hostile animal only to find that its disregard of your presence is almost enough to hurt your feelings...
    • those animals steer away from humans normally anyways, and I'd damn well wouldn't like to smell conforming at first and as a consequence end up too close to them for them to get unpredictable.

      (of course, bears can get protective of their offspring but chances for that are pretty fucking slim and would be only worse if you could actually aproach them with them not caring)
      • I think one of the main things about bears is that they're quite capable of mauling you, and they know it. The problem arises from the different cues among grizzlies and black bears(including brown-pelted "black bears"). One of them will leave you alone if you're noisy, but the other will just be more irritated by it and you'd best shut up.

        I can't remember which is which. Will have to look that up before the next time I go into bear territory - wherever that may be.
      • Be that as it may, people still occasionally find themselves face to face with these animals (which were just pulled out of my ass spur of the moment like...)

        Montana [bigcats.org]
        Arizona [azstarnet.com] Not to mention the occasional bear wandering into the city limits in places like Albuquerque, NM, etc.

        Regardless of what they "usually" do, injuries and fatalities do occur on occasion. Besides, if it were available and actually worked in a way to keep a person safe while hiking, etc. people would buy it, look at the

  • by jago25_98 ( 566531 ) <jago25_98 AT hotmail DOT com> on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @06:36AM (#8981813) Homepage Journal
    http://www.love-scent.com -> forum, top right.

    A few experts on there.
  • This DAP is being sold by Drs. Foster and Smith [drsfostersmith.com] to calm dogs with separation anxiety. It works ok, but better methods are available to help your dog relax.
  • Already Exists (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Josh Booth ( 588074 ) <joshbooth2000.yahoo@com> on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @07:48AM (#8982174)
    A specific Human Appeasing Hormone would really up the ante.

    It already exists. It's called marijuana [wikipedia.org].
    • Re:Already Exists (Score:4, Interesting)

      by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Tuesday April 27, 2004 @10:35AM (#8983839) Homepage Journal
      Or put (slightly) more specifically, it's an assortment of Cannabinoids, THC chiefly among them. However arguably the THC is only a small part of the experience, because Marinol (synthetic THC) doesn't reportedly get you high, or as one might say, provide headchange. It's used to treat severe (as in life-threatening) vomiting and nausea, and to induce appetite. All of this tends to center around HIV+ and Chemo patients.

      Anyone have a list of all the (known?) psychoactive compounds in Marijuana? I'd settle just for a list of the cannibinoids.

      Anyway you didn't go into the reason why Marijuana qualifies; Because the stuff that makes you high is the hormones of the female plant.

    • There is such a thing for humans, at least for women. Check out this abstract Psychological state and mood effects of steroidal chemosignals in women and men. [nih.gov]

      Psychological state and mood effects of steroidal chemosignals in women and men.

      Jacob S, McClintock MK.

      Department of Psychology, The University of Chicago, 5730 South Woodlawn Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA.

      We tested the hypothesis that isolated steroids, claimed to act like pheromones, affect human psychological state or mood. In the first

  • Well, I had a dog once (we had to put him down), and he had a severe case of separation anxiety. We tried DAP, and it...didn't work.

    The DAP seemed to help, but only while we were home.

    So much for that idea.

  • My undergrad advisosr's daughter patented a bottle nipple for premature and underdeveloped infants that would not suckle. The 'nipple' emits an odor that is largely vanilla, as this is the smell of breast milk. It's no wonder while it would be calming to people!

    'course, the CIA dn KGB have been doing research on such for years. It was part of the CIA's experiments with LSD. There's a fair bit of things that can affect you with crossing your perception threshold....

  • You spray it on elementary school kids when the weather is nice, or when a substitute teacher is due. And on jail inmates.

    Do we REALLY need to spray Pheromones on jail inmates??? I've heard what happens in prison.

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