Pheromones are chemicals emitted by living organisms to send messages to individuals of the same species. The idea that chemical communication takes place between individuals of the same species was advanced as early as the late 17th century the first evidence in support of this was obtained in the 19th century by the French priest Henri Fabre, whose hobby was raising butterflies. Fabre demonstrated that antennae are the butterfly’s organ of smell and that males are attracted to females for reproduction during their flight season. In the 1930s in Czechoslovakia, females of deciduous fruit pests were used as bait to trap males in an attempt to monitor the presence of the pest in the orchard and subsequently devise an appropriate pest control treatment.
The sex pheromones were first isolated and identified by German scientists in the year 1959 in silk moth. Although the presence of these pheromones were identified early 1959 only, it had not come to the lime light until early 1980’s when the media started poking its nose in the matter.
Technical progress in handling minute quantities of chemicals, coupled with the development of sophisticated electronics and computerization, led to rapid progress that enabled the isolation and characterization of three moth pheromones by 1965, 20 pheromones by 1970, more than 40 pheromones by 1975, and 100 insect pheromones by 1978. Today, more than 1000 pheromones of various species like insects but also algae, crustaceans, spiders, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals are known. But unfortunately, till date, no pheromones have been found in birds.
McClintock, Professor in Psychology has provided conclusive scientific evidence for human pheromones affecting women menstrual cycles. The data submitted by her about human pheromones have been accepted by the scientists worldwide and the theory is well knows as McClintock Effect.
A young lady, Michaela Atzmueller who was born in 1973 studied zoology and anthropology at the University of Vienna. She did her MA with thesis on human pheromones and male cooperation in 1988. In 2001 she did Ph.D. in anthropology at the University of Vienna with a thesis on risk-taking in young human males and its manifestation in their nonverbal behavior.
Dr. Winnifred Cutler has also been one among the pioneers in the ongoing researches in the field of sexual pheromones and human pheromones. Dr. Cutler’s original studies in the ’70s showed that women who have regular sex with men have more regular menstrual cycles than women who have sporadic sex. Regular sex delayed the decline of estrogen and made women more fertile. This led the research team to look for what the man was providing in the equation. By 1986 they realized it was pheromones. Cutler’s conclusion: “Male essence” contains at least one pheromone that “helps promote reproductive health”.
The department of Molecular Biology and Cell Biology at Harvard university, many researchers are struggling even today to translate the secrete language of pheromones.
So now undoubtedly it is proved that the pheromones in human beings do exist. How best we make use of them is in our hands.
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