New drug coming that could make you fall – in or out of love
February 13, 2009
Some eggheads are reportedly working on a new drug that can make people fall in and out of love.
The idea for ‘love potion number nine’ is based on the research of neuroscientist Dr. Larry Young. Young worked with animals called prairie voles, which are among the small minority of mammals — less than five percent — who share humans’ propensity for monogamy.
The genuises artificially infused the brain of a female prairie vole’s with oxytocin, a hormone that produces neural rewards comparable to those created by substances such as nicotine and cocaine. Science imitating real life? Anyway they found the vole quickly become attached to the nearest male. I bet the experiment would probably work with ecstasy too.
Now on the men. The scientists found a related hormone, vasopressin, creates urges for bonding and nesting in male voles. The research also revealed that male voles with a genetically limited vasopressin response were less likely to find mates. Young’s corresponding research found that men with a similar genetic tendency were less likely to commit (but man can they burrow?).
Theoretically, a drug or vaccine could effectively harness these chemicals and be used to make people experience emotions of love. Conversely, it could also be used to prevent people from feeling such sentiments (treating stalkers?).
Even if Dr. Young, who in the early stages of testing, could make this work perfectly for humans, there are a number of ethical questions that come into play that make this more of a nice to know, then a good to have.