Semen's Secret Ingredient

As the first evidence that NGF,... from semen travels throughout the female body, acting as a hormone, Adams says "this is really new for us.”

The new study, he says, indicates that NGF in male sperm actually travels through the female bloodstream to the brain, causing her hypothalamus and pituitary gland to release the hormones required for pregnancy. Although the precise mechanisms by which NGF is acting on the pituitary gland and hypothalamus still need to be worked out in detail, Ojeda says the research itself looks solid. [emphasis mine]

Tags: neural growth factor, ovulation, semen

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Sexual reproduction presents mysteries to researchers and this study about the role played by a neural growth factor, surprised them. Researchers found the

"same molecule in abundance in the semen of every species they've studied—including humans." The new study "indicates that NGF in male sperm actually travels through the female bloodstream to the brain, causing her hypothalamus and pituitary gland to release the hormones required for pregnancy." ... "The beauty of this study, he says, "is what is exciting about science. They decided to find out what the molecule was with no preconceived ideas at all. When they found it, it was extremely well done."

In a followup study, The nerve of ovulation-inducing factor in semen

"OIF in seminal plasma is β-NGF and that it is highly conserved. An endocrine route of action of NGF elucidates a previously unknown pathway for the direct influence of the male on the hypothalamo–pituitary–gonadal axis of the inseminated female."

I am intrigued by the role curiosity plays in these discoveries; researchers ask questions, seek answers, often are surprised by what they find, but in the end, new information develops. 

Contrast science processes with religious ones; Scientists don't know how something works and seek to understand; Religious know the answers and search for evidence that supports them. 

This leads me to wonder why those who say women's bodies protect them from pregnancy as a result of  rape know the answers without looking for the evidence or if that statement is actually true. 

 

 

 

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