by Michelle with David T. Moran & Deborah Houy Kodis ‧ RELEASE DATE: Oct. 1, 1998
A gee-whizzy take on the so-called sixth sense that reads as though it began as a popular magazine article and, like Topsy, just growed. Journalist Kodis and co-author Houy are aided by cell biologist and pheromone researcher Moran in explaining what pheromones are and how these odorless chemicals are used by animals to communicate with each other. After describing the power of pheromones among the lower animals with some interesting stories about bees, pigs, and assorted other creatures, they mm to the human scene. The authors detail the physiological pathway by which pheromones are thought to be produced by one person and detected by another. The key is the tiny vomeronasal organ (hidden inside the nose) with its link to the hypothalamus. Although they take care to state that the brain does, of course, receive input from other senses, the so-called sixth sense is treated here with respect bordering on awe, and reporting shares space with speculation. As the subtitle suggests, pheromones are depicted as having a powerful subconscious effect on human relationships, triggering love and lust but also dislike, discomfort, and fear. Not surprisingly, perfume manufacturers have latched onto the possibilities of incorporating some of these odorless substances into their products, and the authors focus on the work in this area being done at Human Pheromone Sciences, whose founder, Dr. David Berliner, wrote the book's foreword. Research into natural pheromones has led to synthetic versions known as vomeropherins, and the authors describe possible future uses of such patented compounds--control of cockroaches and other pests and treatment of prostate and breast cancer, panic attacks, insomnia, and a flagging sex drive--as projected by Pherin Pharmaceuticals, Inc., also founded by Dr. Berliner. Tagging a book about odorless molecules with the title Love Scents is a clue that a little hype may be involved. It's here all right.
Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1998
Page Count: 224
Review Posted Online: N/A
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1998
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