ANN ARBOR , MICH. (WXYZ) - Maybe perfume is the preferred Valentine's gift after all.
If you smell good, you may be more attractive according to a new study at the University of Michigan.
The fruit fly may hold the key to romance.
Research at U of M shows that aging fruit flies that gave off a younger aroma were still preferred among others.
It all has to do with pheromones. The body gives off pheromones that are basically odorless. But, opposite sexes detect them. When they do, they can trigger a response.
In the case study at U of M, it was discovered that older fruit flies were not as attractive as younger flies. However, after some experimentation, researchers learned the males would prefer others that were coated with young pheromones.
The fruit fly was chosen for the experiment because of its 90 day lifespan. Age can be more easily studied.
Professor of Molecular and Integrative Physiology and research, Scott D. Pletcher, Ph.D., says, "We found in the end that regardless of the age of the fly, the choosing flies really went crazy for the flies that carried the young pheromone."
But, Pletcher tells us, there's an added plus to this study, "We're excited about these results because they may help us leverage our knowledge of the mechanisms that drive the aging process. This research indicates that the mechanisms important for aging also influence outward attractiveness. " He continues, " Our hope is we can take a trait like attractiveness and study the connection between attractiveness and health."
The study has been published in the Journal of Experimental Biology. You can view the report at: http:// jeb.biologists.org/content/215/5/i.2