Genetic clues to how dogs became man's best friends

Two mutations in the melanocortin 2 receptor gene—which is involved in the production of the stress hormone cortisol—may have played a role in the domestication of dogs by allowing them to develop social cognitive skills ...

Oxytocin treatment can take lions from ferocious to friendly

Lions typically aren't keen on making new friends. The giant cats guard their territory fiercely and can mortally wound a foe with a single swipe. While aggression is an advantage for apex predators in the wild, it poses ...

Oxytocin linked to growth in seal pups

Scientists at the University of St Andrews have, for the first time, shown that grey seal pups with naturally high oxytocin levels gain more mass before weaning, without increasing the amount they are fed.

Hormonal control of appetite in ants identified

Ants and humans have a lot in common at the level of genes and proteins: Numerous studies have shown that ants also possess the genetic basis of a hormone system based on the neuropeptides oxytocin and vasopressin, which, ...

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Oxytocin

Oxytocin (pronounced /ˌɒksɨˈtoʊsɪn/) is a mammalian hormone that also acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain.

It is best known for its roles in female reproduction: it is released in large amounts after distension of the cervix and vagina during labor, and after stimulation of the nipples, facilitating birth and breastfeeding, respectively. Recent studies have begun to investigate oxytocin's role in various behaviors, including orgasm, social recognition, pair bonding, anxiety, trust, love, and maternal behaviors.

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