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Nose op mice turn ladettes.

FEMALE mice tried to have sex like males after scientists altered an organ in their noses.

They mounted other mice and made thrusting movements, abandoning nesting and nursing behaviour.

It was a result of faults in their vomeronasal organ, which responds to the scent of sex hormones called pheromones.

Scientists had thought differences in behaviour between the sexes originated in the brain.

But Prof Catherine Dulac of Harvard University in the US told Nature magazine: "These results are flabbergasting.

"Nobody had imagined that a simple mutation like this could induce females to behave so thoroughly like males."

The results do not apply to humans since we do not have vomeronasal organs.
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 6, 2007
Words:111
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