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LS's picture

Hmmm..you smell like a good mate!

I was reading an article in Scientific Mind on a nerve that may control which pheromones humans are receptive to and how this effects who we will mate with.  There was a really interesting piece on major histocompatibility complex (MHC) macromolecules.  These molecules are involved in the immune’s system recognition of foreign cells.  These molecule poke through the cells membrane and are inspected by the bodies T-cells.  If the immune system determines that the cell is foreign they will be destroyed.  Currents research suggests that an individual is less likely to be attracted to and thus mate with some one who had the same MHC as their mother.  In fact women prefer the odor of t-shirts worn by men who have different MHC than they do.  Men are also able to distinguish this from smell as well.  A protein fragment that MHC carries is what acts as a pheromone and this effects the bodies “bacterial flora” which the result from the breaking down of sweat due to these molecules.

Obviously it is important to be attracted to someone with a different MHC because the offspring of this union will have an increase immune system.   Also, it is important that one does not mate with their own relative!  As useful as this is, and as much sense as it makes it really surprises me!  When I meat someone for the first time smell is a standard of mine but I never though that it would mean anything more than what kind of soap they use or how often they shower!  I guess this just shows how alert our senses are and that they are sensing things they we don’t even know about, and this further effects our behavior.  I always though that whether I was attracted to someone depended entirely on my opinion of them and their personality I guess I have less control than I thought. …..Emily Dickenson wins this one..

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