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Love Chemistry - WOC Drugs.docx

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McGill University
CHEM 183
David Harpp

Chem of drugs: Love chemistry  3 stages in love: attraction, passion, attachment  Many chemicals during these 3 stages. Dopamine, serotonin, etc. Attraction - Involves pheromones: “a substance that is produced by an organism and elicits a specific unlearned response in another member of the same species”. Mostly for insects. Usually emitted by the female to attract the male. Male antennae are much more developed. - Disparlure (a chemical) emitted by female moths. - Cockroach periplanone B is the most powerful. Detected at distances up to 4km. - Anti-pheromone: methyl salicylate by white-winged rapeseed butterfly. Male applies this anti-pheromone. After the male and female have gotten together, the male will apply this to mark her to fend off other males. - Pheromones are very specific. - Two insects can have the same pheromone, which can be a problem. The female of one species may attract males from other species. They get stuck because their genitals are mismatched. - Dogs have great sense of smell because that’s what receives the pheromones. - Masking agents to block smell of pheromone - Methylparaben is a pheromone for dogs but is also used as preservatives in cosmetics. - Female pigs are better at finding truffles than male pigs. o Chemical emitted by male pig called androstenol in its breath is very similar to smell of truffle. o Androstenol ued for artificial insemination. o Androstenol also present in men’s sweat (humans) o Androstenol fragrance is said to be “musky” o Women are attracted to androstenol but tends to make men fearful. - “Women’s Dorm Syndrome” : fragrance can have a physiological effect on women. Women who live close to each other tend to synchronize their menstrual cycle. - Women exposed to male armpit secretion become calmer and more relaxed…. o Androstadienone? (emitted by men to affect women) o Estratetraenol? (emitted by women to affect men) o Seems that chemicals emitted by men have more effect on women.. Passion  Phenylethylamine (PEA) belongs in family of amphetamine o In chocolate but when found in chocolate it can’t penetrate blood-brain barrier o Phenylalanine is a precursor of PEA. In peanuts. Attachment  Oxytocin “the cuddle chemical” o Women will produce higher levels of oxytocin when very close to offspring – cuddling o Prairie vole is friendly and monogamous (but % species among mammals that are monogamous is 3-5%)  Oxytocin, vasopressin, dopamine play roles  Vasopressin receptors are effective. When receptors activated, the feeling of monogamy is much better. When deactivated, monogamy decreases; male doesn’t feel like they have to be close to female. o Mountain vole is promiscuous. o DNA modification to
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