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Pheromonal Mind Control Mellows Moody Mutts

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the would-it-work-for-me dept.

Biotech 41

StefanJ writes "Two researchers at the Royal School of Veterinary Studies at the University of Edinburgh have been experimenting with DAP (Dog Appeasing Pheromone) a chemical that calms down dogs. The study described in this press release subjected dogs in a shelter to the hormone. The homeless animals barked less, and reacted better to visitors. I've heard that realtors prepping a house for show sometimes put a drip or two of vanilla extract on a kitchen stovetop, in the theory that this particular scent makes people feel at home. A specific Human Appeasing Hormone would really up the ante. You spray it on elementary school kids when the weather is nice, or when a substitute teacher is due. And on jail inmates. And people in malls who are sitting on benches instead of shopping, the damn freeloaders! Oh, Brave New World, that has such psychoactive scents in it!"

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fo pi (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8979425)

hello, sad world!

Elite Hackers Support John Kerry !! (-1, Offtopic)

EGSonikku (519478) | more than 10 years ago | (#8979595) e_code=00020882

Paid for by Elite Hackers Supporting John Kerry
For President!

Re:Elite Hackers Support John Kerry !! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8979940)

Only 1337 P33PUL throw their medals IN THE RIVER!

Re:Elite Hackers Support John Kerry !! (0, Offtopic)

EGSonikku (519478) | more than 10 years ago | (#8980395)

Your not fooling anyone with the anonynous coward bit Mr Bush! ;-)

nothing new? (-1, Troll)

SkunkPussy (85271) | more than 10 years ago | (#8979615)

pheremones are nothing new surely!!?!

Klonopin (1)

bluethundr (562578) | more than 10 years ago | (#8979616)

Fine and good for the pooches in the study to be so calm. For me, though, it's Klonopin [] that actually seems to do the trick (note from your zoo-keeper required [] ).

Re:Klonopin (1)

beeplet (735701) | more than 10 years ago | (#8980801)

Given the choice, I think I would prefer a natural calming scent to a highly addictive benzodiazepine drug...

hmm (3, Funny)

kurosawdust (654754) | more than 10 years ago | (#8979871)

this is an excellent idea. It is with this in mind that I will invent a nasally-administered substance to calm human beings down. I shall call it "Co-nostrilinial Novocaine", or "cocaine" for short. To the patent office!

Re:hmm (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8981487)

I find this as funny as it is a good commentary on the the submisiion of the definitions of what is illicit in the field of psychoactive agents to larger societal forces of power.

Only Slashdoters (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8979887)

Only Slashdoters wouldn't list the one blindingly obvious use for calming pheremones... chix0rs!

Re:Only Slashdoters (1)

RsD212 (202079) | more than 10 years ago | (#8982512)

...of course we were all thinking it though. Just remember Revenge of the Nerds, while all jocks do it think about sports, all nerds think about is sex.

Seriously though, pheremone colognes have been out for a long time, but now it seems they actually got them to work decently well. Though my initial reaction was that it would be sweet to just spray a little on and get all the chicks you want, but I do believe dating shouldn't be reduced to chemical warfare. At that point, the geeks will win for a while, but then its back to the rich guys who can afford the more expensive pheremone spray.

Next, there's the scary government conspiracy side. You're angry at the government one minute, next you're suddenly all happy for no explainable reason. Something to think about...

The only known human pheremone... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8979899)

The only known pheremone that works on humans is the enchanting musk of my ball sweat.

The diversity of life will get them. (3, Interesting)

BrynM (217883) | more than 10 years ago | (#8980056)

The idea of a "shopping pheremone" would bring lots of unexpected behavior, I bet. On 99.9% of the population it could work... until that wacko that associated shopping with going on a shooting spree and can't help himself from raiding the sporting goods department. Talk about your "devil made me do it" plea!

"I couldn't stop shooting. Everyone just smelled like they needed to be dead."

People think erratically enough. Pushing behavior in such a casual way is a dangerous thing.

Re:The diversity of life will get them. (2, Interesting)

cL0h (624108) | more than 10 years ago | (#8981338)

I read in a book on cosmetics [] recently that humans neither emit nor react to pheromones as animals do. In fact human females are distinct from other primates in that they ovulate secretly (from an olfactory standpoint anyway)

Re:The diversity of life will get them. (1)

NonSequor (230139) | more than 10 years ago | (#8984941)

I believe there is still some debate on this. From what I understand though, if humans do react to pheromones, it's much more weakly than animals do.

Re:The diversity of life will get them. (1)

torpor (458) | more than 10 years ago | (#8981465)

There already is a 'shopping scent' you can get, and add to air-conditioners for 'refresher/sanitation' purposes, and it works. My friend, a mall manager in SoCal, knows all too well that the state of his air-conditioner drives business.

I agree, also, that we should not promote this behaviour. I find it incorrigible that US companies are allowed to develop/research such things as commercial scent vectors, but yet there is still an "American Morality" about such things as chemical warfare ...

Useful (3, Funny)

$exyNerdie (683214) | more than 10 years ago | (#8980161)

animals barked less
Wish I could one day use this on the lady in the next cubicle at work. Boy what a constant distraction her phone talk is !!

Re:Useful (1)

dstillz (704959) | more than 10 years ago | (#8980390)

It relaxes/calms the people you use it on. In the situation you described, YOU'D be the one in need of the pheromone.

Re:Useful (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8981495)

"Corporate Accounts Payable, Nina speaking... Just a moment"
"Corporate Accounts Payable, Nina speaking... Just a moment"
"Corporate Accounts Payable, Nina speaking... Just a moment"

The best way to mellow out a dog. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8980242)

The best way to mellow out a dog,
from the dog's point of view.
A long walk through the woods.
Followed by a pork chop or steak.
Then a long belly rub.

Old News (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8980245)

I got a spam e-mail pitching me magical pheremones well over two weeks ago. /. is falling behind.

Poindextrose? (3, Funny)

dnahelix (598670) | more than 10 years ago | (#8980426)

"The pungent vinegar and tangy Roquefort block the smell receptors, rendering the bully harmless." -L.S.

For the cat lovers... (4, Insightful)

beeplet (735701) | more than 10 years ago | (#8980778)

There is a similar product [] already on the market for cats. I have to wonder, though, whether long-term use would be harmful, for example by desensitizing the animal to certain pheremones. If a cat or dog suddenly finds that everything smells "comforting", you might end up a few years later with an even more nervous animal that doesn't feel comfortable anywhere. I think I'll stick to old fashioned training with my cats...

Acclimitisation, sensitivity, and resistance... (1)

quinkin (601839) | more than 10 years ago | (#8980911)

Ahhhh, thank goodness other people think like I do.

It is possible that it is "hard wired" enough to be invariant, but given the adaptability of most higher order animals I would highly doubt it.


I recommend it (2, Interesting)

nmnilsson (549442) | more than 10 years ago | (#8981319)

I recommend this spray wholeheartedly.

When we moved to a new apartment three years ago, our cat started peeing (not just spraying) in odd places.
I called the vet, who suggested the spray.
We used it - for about a month - until she stopped peeing and started marking the areas herself (now with her facial scent glands).

Re:I recommend it (1)

JohnFluxx (413620) | more than 10 years ago | (#8981600)

How do you know that in a month she wouldn't have gotten used to the place anyway?

Re:I recommend it (3, Interesting)

wayne606 (211893) | more than 10 years ago | (#8983957)

Never had a cat who sprayed, huh?

I tried it with my male cat and it didn't work... Too stubborn I guess.

The way that this stuff works is by converting the urge to mark using spraying (which is not really urine, but an oily substance made by separate glands) into an urge to mark using facial hormones. That's why cats rub their faces on people - to mark their territory.

Seriously though... (2, Interesting)

l1_wulf (602905) | more than 10 years ago | (#8981269)

In all seriousness, think of the practicaly applications for hikers, hunters and trail enthusiasts. Bobcat problem? Bears? Wouldn't it be nice if you happened to stumble upon a normally hostile animal only to find that its disregard of your presence is almost enough to hurt your feelings...

Re:Seriously though... (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 10 years ago | (#8981649)

those animals steer away from humans normally anyways, and I'd damn well wouldn't like to smell conforming at first and as a consequence end up too close to them for them to get unpredictable.

(of course, bears can get protective of their offspring but chances for that are pretty fucking slim and would be only worse if you could actually aproach them with them not caring)

Re:Seriously though... (1)

Shurhaian (743684) | more than 10 years ago | (#8992985)

I think one of the main things about bears is that they're quite capable of mauling you, and they know it. The problem arises from the different cues among grizzlies and black bears(including brown-pelted "black bears"). One of them will leave you alone if you're noisy, but the other will just be more irritated by it and you'd best shut up.

I can't remember which is which. Will have to look that up before the next time I go into bear territory - wherever that may be.

Re:Seriously though... (1)

l1_wulf (602905) | more than 10 years ago | (#8994297)

Be that as it may, people still occasionally find themselves face to face with these animals (which were just pulled out of my ass spur of the moment like...)

Montana []
Arizona [] Not to mention the occasional bear wandering into the city limits in places like Albuquerque, NM, etc.

Regardless of what they "usually" do, injuries and fatalities do occur on occasion. Besides, if it were available and actually worked in a way to keep a person safe while hiking, etc. people would buy it, look at the "bear mace" that's out there. I've never bought or even seen it so I don't recall the actual product name or what it is commonly called, all I remember is that it's heavy duty pepper spray supposedly strong enough to repel wild animals.

Anyway, the original point I guess wasn't so much that the application I envisioned would make bears and bobcats like being around you, but perhaps something that makes them more sedate and not something you would normally wear during the entire time "in the woods" but something that can be applied/sprayed/whatever in a pinch.


Related forum on the subject (2, Informative)

jago25_98 (566531) | more than 10 years ago | (#8981813) -> forum, top right.

A few experts on there.

Already on the market (1)

blankmange (571591) | more than 10 years ago | (#8981948)

This DAP is being sold by Drs. Foster and Smith [] to calm dogs with separation anxiety. It works ok, but better methods are available to help your dog relax.

Already Exists (2, Insightful)

Josh Booth (588074) | more than 10 years ago | (#8982174)

A specific Human Appeasing Hormone would really up the ante.

It already exists. It's called marijuana [] .

Re:Already Exists (3, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 10 years ago | (#8983839)

Or put (slightly) more specifically, it's an assortment of Cannabinoids, THC chiefly among them. However arguably the THC is only a small part of the experience, because Marinol (synthetic THC) doesn't reportedly get you high, or as one might say, provide headchange. It's used to treat severe (as in life-threatening) vomiting and nausea, and to induce appetite. All of this tends to center around HIV+ and Chemo patients.

Anyone have a list of all the (known?) psychoactive compounds in Marijuana? I'd settle just for a list of the cannibinoids.

Anyway you didn't go into the reason why Marijuana qualifies; Because the stuff that makes you high is the hormones of the female plant.

Re:Already Exists (1)

Syre (234917) | more than 10 years ago | (#9004110)

There is such a thing for humans, at least for women. Check out this abstract Psychological state and mood effects of steroidal chemosignals in women and men. []

Psychological state and mood effects of steroidal chemosignals in women and men.

Jacob S, McClintock MK.

Department of Psychology, The University of Chicago, 5730 South Woodlawn Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA.

We tested the hypothesis that isolated steroids, claimed to act like pheromones, affect human psychological state or mood. In the first experiment, we established that two steroids, Delta4, 16-androstadien-3-one and 1,3,5(10)16-estratetraen-3-ol, modulated emotional states within 6 min of exposure. In men and women, neither steroid had specific effects on states of alertness or negative-confused mood. However, both steroids increased positive stimulated mood state in women but decreased it in men. These psychological findings do not parallel the reported sexually specific effects of these two steroids on the surface potential activity of putative vomeronasal epithelium. In a second experiment on women, we replicated that Delta4,16-androstadien-3-one modulated their general mood state, even when women were not aware of its odor and gave identical olfactory descriptions for the steroid and the control carrier solutions. In this within-subjects, repeated-measures experiment, androstadienone prevented the deterioration in general mood which occurred during exposure to the clove oil carrier solution in the laboratory environment. Thus, androstadienone appears to modulate affect, rather than releasing stereotyped behaviors or emotions. It is premature to call these steroids human pheromones. They are nonetheless psychologically potent, mandating future work delineating their function-i.e., whether these steroids are communicative chemosignals, context specific, or related to unconscious associations. In light of these modulatory effects and the complexity of human behavior, the function of chemosignals and pheromonal systems in a variety of species may need to be expanded to include the concept of modulators, as well as the traditional releasers, primers, and signaling compounds. Copyright 2000 Academic Press.

I actually found this reference on the site of a company that sells pheromone cologne [] , in a section describing the basis for their product claims. They're implying at least that they sell either the same pheromones mentioned in that study, or something with similar results.

Makes me curious...

Personal Experience (1)

thetorpedodog (750359) | more than 10 years ago | (#8984468)

Well, I had a dog once (we had to put him down), and he had a severe case of separation anxiety. We tried DAP, and it...didn't work.

The DAP seemed to help, but only while we were home.

So much for that idea.

Vanilla 'works' - it's no a theory (1)

shpoffo (114124) | more than 10 years ago | (#8984494)

My undergrad advisosr's daughter patented a bottle nipple for premature and underdeveloped infants that would not suckle. The 'nipple' emits an odor that is largely vanilla, as this is the smell of breast milk. It's no wonder while it would be calming to people!

'course, the CIA dn KGB have been doing research on such for years. It was part of the CIA's experiments with LSD. There's a fair bit of things that can affect you with crossing your perception threshold....


Spray this on attack dogs masquerading as leaders! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8984552)

Maybe they could get to where they could actually resist getting into collateral-damage-be-damned pissing contests, and and nations could start looking a little less like B-movie criminal organizations (no offense to the Mafia, which probably throws better parties and is more principled about collateral damage).

Attack-dog reflexes and instincts directly wired into the launch control systems of missiles might actually work in an aerial dog-fight, in a plane to plane contest, but it is a little scary to think of raised-hackle minds in control of a nation's entire military might. Isn't it? Are there safeguards against what might happen if something wakes them up too suddenly?

Now our dear leaders are not like that, of course. But what if Kerry gets elected and has a weird stroke that makes him wake up the next morning with the certainty that he had a direct mandate from God to do something really momentous without consulting Congress or anyone else he could bypass?

What safeguards do we have in the system?

PS. Remember that whatever executive privileges get locked into place for the presidency might get exercised by Hilary Clinton in 2008 ;-)

Bad Idea (1)

weeboo0104 (644849) | more than 10 years ago | (#8989976)

You spray it on elementary school kids when the weather is nice, or when a substitute teacher is due. And on jail inmates.

Do we REALLY need to spray Pheromones on jail inmates??? I've heard what happens in prison.

Re:Bad Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8995168)

Do we REALLY need to spray Pheromones on jail inmates???

I'd say Zyklon-B would calm them down really well. And we could reclaim the land wasted by penitenciaries, and recoup the tax money used to house and feed the animals...
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