The Lessons In Courtship We Can Learn From Animal

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LOVE IS A DRUG

Most male mice are happy with just a short moment of passion – a quick knee-trembler behind the skirting board with a partner, and then he’s off. But a male Californian Mouse is the opposite: he seems a perfect mouse-husband who stays in to help groom and feed his mousewife, bringing her water, doing the housework and helping to look after their babies.Proof that he’s fallen head over paws in love? No, simply that the clever female has drugged him.She produces hormones in her urine that he finds intoxicating. Something in his brain is triggered by the scent, and he becomes her slave, working to exhaustion.Sound familiar? It should do. Because love is a drug for humans, too. When we fall in love, our brains swim with opioids – a natural intoxicant from the same class of chemical as heroin – and similarly addictive
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Moths As Good As Mice For Many Drug Tests

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Moths, caterpillars and fruit flies could soon take the place of millions of mice used every year by scientists testing drugs, researchers said Tuesday. Biologists have discovered that certain key cells in mammals and insects react in the same way when attacked by infections and produce similar chemical reactions to fight them off.The findings could mean up to 80 percent of the mice used for testing new pharmaceutical compounds may no longer be needed, offering drug firms sizeable time and cost savings.

“It is now routine practice to use insect larvae to perform initial testing of new drugs and then to use mice for confirmation tests,” said Kevin Kavanagh, a biologist from the National University of Ireland, who presented his research at a Society for General Microbiology meeting in Edinburgh.

“This method of testing is quicker, as tests with insects yield results in 48 hours whereas tests with mice usually take 4 to 6 weeks. And it is much cheaper too.”

Kavanagh and his colleagues found that neutrophils, white blood cells that form part of the mammalian immune system, and haematocytes, cells that carry out similar work in insects, react in the same way to infecting microbes.
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