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Hormone jabs help spread the love: study

Press Association logoPress Association 24/05/2017

Love hormone injections can spread a little of what the world needs now between strangers, scientists have shown.

Their experiment was conducted among wild grey seals given shots of the hormone oxytocin , which is known to forge emotional bonds between mothers and babies, and romantic partners.

The scientists found that after the jabs, newly introduced seals instantly hit it off, seeking out each other's company and keeping physically close.

Levels of aggressive behaviour also dropped under the hormone's influence.

Despite receiving small doses of oxytocin, the changed behaviour of the loved-up seals persisted for two days.

This was unexpected, since the hormone is quickly cleared from the bloodstream.

Study leader Dr Kelly Robinson, of the University of St Andrews, and her team wrote in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: "Seals given oxytocin spent significantly more time in close proximity to each other, confirming that oxytocin causes (same species members) to seek others out and remain close to one another."

The experiment involved 20 newly weaned grey seal pups from the Isle of May, Scotland.

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