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February 2 2013

Researchers crack olfactory code for partner selection, create first biologically effective perfume

Individual body odour plays an important role in partner selection. Humans, mice, fish and birds, and probably other vertebrates too, receive important information about a potential partner's immune system from their body odour. A partner is chosen on the bases of whether he or she offers the optimum complement to the individual's own immune genes. The aim is to pass on a wide variety of immune genes to the offspring so that they are resistant to a broad spectrum of pathogens.

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