First we were told the composition of semen could possibly help fight depression.
Now, research suggests that male semen can affect the genes and behaviour of females in other ways, too.
British scientists have dubbed the phenomenon seminal signalling – and say it is widespread in the animal world.
The team, from the University of East Anglia, found male fruit flies selectively alter the chemical make-up of their seminal fluid.
And that when around rivals, the males produce more seminal proteins, New Scientist reports.
Furthermore, the scientists found that one of the proteins is a ‘master regulator’ of genes – and females exposed to it showed a wide range of changes in gene expression.
Semen may alter gene expression in females – affecting factors such as a woman’s hormones. Scientists have dubbed the phenomenon seminal signalling – and say it is widespread in animal world
Gene expression is the process by which specific genes are activated to produce a required protein to help the body function.
These proteins go on to perform essential functions as enzymes, hormones and receptors, for example.
‘[Our finding] came as a real surprise,’ study leader Tracey Chapman, Professor of Evolutionary Genetics, told the magazine.
‘It’s a sophisticated response to the social and sexual situation.’
Source: Daily Mail