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Stench is in Nose of Beholder

Body odor perceived differently based on genetics, study shows
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 16, 2007 4:42 PM CDT

(Newser) – Good news for men with a nasty smell wafting under their arms: Scientists can prove why it's not so bad to everyone. A report published in Nature says that male sweat can invoke scents from urine to vanilla, thanks to tiny differences in a single receptor gene. How it reacts to a sex steroid in men spells the difference between a quick hello and a candlelit dinner.

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Scientists have long known that perceptions of the steroid androstenone vary, but couldn’t explain why. The knew it worked wonders in pigs - facilitating "the courtship behavior in females" - and Reuters reports that Duke University researchers look forward to doing further studies on human sexual behavior.

(Read more science stories.)

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