The female of the species may be more deadly than the male - but it's the male's fault, according to a new study. Scientists studying fruit flies found females became more violent after mating. They put this down to chemicals found in the semen that carries a male's DNA in his swimming sperm cells. It's known seminal fluid proteins transferred from males during intercourse can change women's behaviour - including eating and sleeping patterns. Although they investigated fruit flies the findings could in principle be applied to responses in many animals - including humans - where sperm and semen is released inside the female's body during sex.
To most people, the question might seem a no-brainer: is ejaculation a rewarding experience? In effort to better understand how ejaculation fits into the motivations behind the mating process in animals, from insects to mammals, scientists have conducted a bizarre experiment. Using optogenetic tools, researchers genetically engineered fruit flies to ejaculate when exposed to red light – and, perhaps unsurprisingly, the team discovered flies developed a strong preference for red light. Researchers placed the genetically engineered males in an arena in which just one side was bathed in red light. Then, they tracked their activity.
Whether it's deciding what to buy for dinner or whether to take a new job, we make rational choices all the time. Scientists have long wondered whether this careful decision-making process is used by other members of the animal kingdom and how far they are from the human lineage. Now experts have discovered that fruit flies show signs of rational decision-making when choosing a mate. The researchers only tested mate choice in male flies, but the decision to mate in this species is definitely a two-way street. However, Dr Arbuthnott focused on male mate choice in the experiments detailed in the journal Nature Communications, to help dispel a misconception about mating in many animal species.
Male fruit flies seem to enjoy ejaculation as much as men do. Their "orgasms" seem to be satisfying enough to reduce their craving for other rewards such as alcohol. The experiment resembles the "orgasmatron", a fictional machine for giving people instant orgasms featured in the 1973 film Sleeper. Galit Shohat-Ophir of Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel and her colleagues engineered male fruit flies so that they could make them ejaculate at will. First, they genetically engineered neurons in the fruit flies' abdomens so that they could be activated by exposure to red light.
Scientists have learned about humans' needs for personal space from a surprising source - fruit flies. Little was known about the mechanisms that allow us to determine when someone is'too near' or'too far,' but researchers just discovered it all has to do with dopamine - the neurotransmitter that controls pleasure and reward. They say this could have important implications for understanding people who are autistic, or have schizophrenia or other conditions. Scientists have learned about humans' needs for personal space from a surprising source - fruit flies. Little was known about the mechanisms that allow us to determine when someone is'too near' or'too far,' but researchers just discovered it all has to do with dopamine The team found that levels of dopamine can change how much space fruit flies need from each other.