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Author Topic: Of Mice and Men: Male Scent May Compromise Biomedical Research  (Read 69 times) Average Rating: 0
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Jetavan
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« on: April 30, 2014, 01:09:58 AM »

Jeffrey Mogil’s students....were injecting an irritant into the feet of mice to test their pain response, but the rodents didn’t seem to feel anything. “We thought there was something wrong with the injection,” says Mogil, a neuroscientist at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. The real culprit was far more surprising: The mice that didn’t feel pain had been handled by male students.
....
Further testing showed that the rodents exposed to male odors were actually feeling less pain, rather than simply hiding the pain they were in. The male aroma ramped up their stress levels, which deadened the hurt.
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[The observation led to an experiment, which led to a finding that when mice are left alone with a man, they had an increase in the hormone corticosterone, which acts like a pain reliever.]
....
He suspects the rodents are reacting to scent chemicals that male mammals have produced for eons. “It’s a primordial response,” he says. “If you smell a solitary male nearby, chances are he’s hunting or defending his territory.” If you’re in pain, you’re showing weakness.

Almost every animal behavior studied in the lab, from the effectiveness of experimental drugs to the ability of monkeys to do math, is affected by stress, notes Paul Flecknell, a veterinary anesthesiologist at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom who researches ways to alleviate pain in animals. “This could have an impact on just about everything.”
....
“I joke that the solution is to fire all the male researchers,” Mogil says. “But at the very least, this is something teams should be noting in the methods sections of their papers. We can change the bath water without throwing out the baby.”
« Last Edit: April 30, 2014, 01:26:16 AM by Jetavan » Logged

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