News of the WeekPHEROMONE RECEPTION

When in Doubt, Mice Mate Rather Than Hate

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Science  01 Feb 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5556, pp. 782
DOI: 10.1126/science.295.5556.782a

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Summary

Research published online by Science this week (www.sciencexpress.org) suggests that the default social interaction for mice is to mate; only a scent-based cue from another male inhibits a male's urge to mate and spurs him to fight. The number of genes that control this behavior is precisely one; it encodes the protein TRP2 that sits on the surface of certain olfactory nerves that detect pheromones. The work opens the way for genetic analysis of a number of behaviors that are influenced by pheromones.