Scientists Unlock the Connection Between Peptides and Sexual Attraction

Posted by on Feb 2, 2016 in Peptides, Sexual Attraction |

When looking for the perfect man, women rely on their sense of smell, though many don’t realize they’re doing so. Although there’s still a great deal to be learned about why some women are attracted to men who smell a certain way, research indicates that it could have something to do with an age-old, instinctive desire to find a mate that’s in good health.

Researchers have invested many hours into observing mice and trying to determine why the females were drawn to a particular male. The scientists quickly realized the prized male was the one who had a very strong immune system. This corresponded nicely with research gathered during the course of another experiment, which indicated that the female mice appeared to seek out males that had an immune system which varied slightly from the females and which should have resulted in baby mice that were healthier and stronger than their parents.

 

Researchers also discovered that the peptides the mice used to help choose the perfect mate were secreted in the male’s urine, and each of these peptides was unique to the mouse they came from, acting as a kind of fingerprint.

It turns out that the females are able to smell the peptides, and keep a record of the scent and her prospective mate’s health by using the vomeronasal organ within her nose.

Researcher, Frank Zufallexplainedhow important peptides are in healthy reproduction among mice. “Exposure, during a critical period, to urine odor from another male, will prevent embryo implantation, leading to loss of pregnancy, while exposure to the familiar odor will not.

We can trick this odor memory and the outcome of the pregnancy-block test by adding peptides to urine. In other words, we can switch an unfamiliar urine odor to a familiar one (and vice versa) by spiking the urine with only a few peptides.

“Zufall feels that the scent of the male’s peptides doesn’t just impact the reproductive life of mice. “We believe that detection of [immune system] peptides via the nose may be of general significance for social behaviors in all vertebrates.”

For years, the scientific community believed the vomeronasal organ in humans was rendered useless by evolution, but some scientists have begun to question whether or not this is true.

There’s no denying that the way a human man smells plays a huge role in whether or not a woman will agree to go out on date with him, and there’s also evidence that men secrete a different kind of smell when they’re interested in sex.  It stands to reason that men who use peptide supplements to boost their immune system might also improve their love life. Specifically, men in search of love would need additive free peptides to boost thymus activity.

Is it possible that peptides could be the solution for men who want to find lasting love? Scientists are still doing research to learn more about how peptides impact sexual attraction, but with many other benefits of peptide supplements already well known, it couldn’t hurt to try.

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Peptides Open Up a New Possibility for Self-Healing Building Materials

Posted by on Feb 2, 2016 in Building Materials, Peptides |

Peptides have been a topic of major interest among scientists in recent years. These naturally created amino acids can boost self-healing and reverse damage. While we know that peptides are beneficial for our health, some scientists wonder if we could harness the power of peptides and use it in new ways to actually create buildings made from living materials that self-heal.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology biological engineer, Timothy Lu, sees the idea of self-healing buildings as more than just an interesting concept. He feels a day will come when it’s possible to build such homes. “In contrast to materials we use in modern life, which are all dead, living materials have the ability to self-heal, adapt to the environment, form into complex patterns and shapes, and generate new functional materials and devices from the bottom up,”

The trick to using living materials with the ability to self-heal means that researchers need to start creating hybrids that combine peptides that are typically used for healing animal bones, skin, and muscles. They are now learning how it can be engineered into plant matter.

Lu’s particularly interested in how the peptides and living organisms can be used to basically grow part of a building. “Previous systems do not leverage the characteristics of living organisms. Also, most modern materials’ synthesis processes are energy-intensive, human-intensive endeavors. But we’re suggesting to use biology to grow materials from the bottom up in an environmentally friendly fashion.”

Lu’s research team has devoted a great deal of time to studying the role of peptides and how bones grow and self-repair after breaking. Based on the information they found, the team of biological engineers got to work and looked for ways genetic engineering could be used to produce a new kind of peptides thatcould actually help a structure self-heal after being damaged by storms or environmental elements.

Researchers have focused their attention on adding peptides to CsgA protein units to produce a new biofilm.It took some time, but the team managed to successfully create a self-growing biofilm that was strong and capable enough to be used to conduct electricity and run a very simple fluorescence.

The research team was delighted when they were able to use the peptides to get the individual cells in the biofilm to communicate with each other, an important step if a self-repairing structure ever becomes damaged. Lu hopes that they’ll be able to create a material that responds to things happening in its immediate environment, the same way the cells in a human bone know to heal after they’ve been broken. In addition to being able to repair damage done to itself, Lu hopes the cells will eventually recognize toxic substances and instantly shut down.

Lu is very excited about the progress his team has made. “One can imagine growing materials using sunlight rather than needing to have very energy-intensive processes for top-down materials’ synthesis.”

It’s a long way from biofilms to a futuristic self-healing house, but researchers are inching closer and closerto unlocking a whole new way of using peptide-powered construction materials.

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