Science journalists or paid propagandists? (2)

By: James V. Kohl | Published on: January 8, 2017


Riffell is interested in how chemical signals, like smells, affect behavior. Explore further: Researchers show that the mosquito smells, before it sees, a host.

This was reported last year in “Science” and on January 6, 2017 as Orchids mimic human body odor to attract mosquitoes
The year-long delay aroused my suspicion because everything known to serious scientists since 1996 has linked food odors and pheromones to reproduction in species from microbes to humans.
See for example: Insect pheromone in elephants (1996)

SIR – (Z)-7-dodecen-l-yl acetate is used by the females of more than 126 species of insects, especially Lepidoptera, as part of their pheromone blends to attract insect males1. Female Asian elephants, Elephas maximus, also use a pheromone to signal to males their readiness to mate2.

See also: Feedback loops link odor and pheromone signaling with reproduction (2005)
See also: Schedule 2016 and this search for pheromones: The Role of Pheromone Differences in Lineage Maintenance

…sex-specific pheromones used by plethodontid salamanders may play a role in sexual incompatibility and therefore the maintenance of isolated, genetically distinct populations.

…relative ratios of specific pheromone isoforms were compared across groups.

Species-specific pheromones must first epigenetically effect the nutrient energy-dependent hormone-organized function of the invertebrate and vertebrate brain. Then, pheromone isoform composition can affect energy-dependent male behavior or energy-dependent female behavior.
The evolutionary origins of social insect queen pheromones: honesty and dynamics of fertility signal production in a socially polyphenic Halictid bee.

…the evolution of these signaling channels given the potential for destabilizing dishonest signal production remains somewhat unclear. Fertility signal evolution may be at a nascent stage in primitively social insect societies…

They invented a nascent stage in an attempt to explain the nutrient energy-dependent pheromone-controlled behavioral development after claiming that facts about virus-driven destabilization of signal production were unclear.
Estrogen implantation alters putative pheromone composition in male brown tree snakes

Previous work in another snake species demonstrated that both estrogen implantation and testosterone removal (castration) could induce female pheromone expression in male red-sided garter snakes. It was thus the goal of this study to use estrogen implantation to manipulate putative pheromone expression in male brown tree snakes and determine the effect of implantation on male attractiveness. We implanted male brown tree snakes (n=7) with silastic implants (1 cm) containing estradiol and found that implanted males had significantly altered expression of long-chain methyl ketones, specifically the longer, monunsaturated ketones.

The hormone-dependent production of sex differences in pheromones has been linked from sex difference in yeasts at the advent of sexual reproduction to all sex differences in all cell types of all species that sexually reproduce.
Influence of female orientation and pigmentation on male positioning during courtship

We can modify the dummy’s appearance, pattern of motion, and pheromone coating. Males will robustly court the dummy, enabling us to delineate the relative contributions of visual and other sensory cues to male courtship behavior.

It is fascinating to see anyone pretend that the courtship behavior might depend on visual or other sensory cues without attesting to the facts about the classical conditioning of odor-driven changes in behavior that link chemotaxis to phototaxis in all living genera, not just organisms with eyes.
Cooperation and conflict in social insect societies: from genes to pheromones

Our studies provide novel insights into genomic, epigenomic, physiological and chemical mechanisms that regulate the variation in pheromone production and responses to these pheromones that shape social behavior in honey bees. We have extended these studies to other social insects (bumble bees, paper wasps, and fire ants) to begin to examine the evolution of the genomic pathways underpinning chemical communication and reproductive dominance…

Anna Di Cosmo’s group already linked everything known about ecological variation to ecological adaptation in species from marine invertebrates to terrestrial vertebrates in Role of olfaction in Octopus vulgaris reproduction
From the concluding paragraph:

Future work on O. vulgaris olfaction must also consider how animals acquire the odours detected by the olfactory organ and what kind of odour the olfactory organ perceives. The OL acting as control centre may be target organ for metabolic hormones such as leptin like and insulin like peptides, and olfactory organ could exert regulatory action on the OL via epigenetic effects of nutrients and pheromones on gene expression (Kohl, 2013; Elekonich and Robinson, 2000).

Attempts to put facts like these back into the context of “…the evolution of the genomic pathways underpinning chemical communication and reproductive dominance…” are doomed to fail. There is no experimental evidence of biologically-based cause and effect that can be linked to the evolution of one species from another.
See also: Science journalists or paid propagandists? (3)

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