Ten great discoveries: Mr Darcy and mouse urine

mouse-1wFor National Science and Engineering Week, we are celebrating 10 great scientific advances made at the University of Liverpool. Over the 10 days of the event, we will be highlighting a different advance each day to show what science can achieve.

Our seventh advance in the series is the discovery of a pheromone in mouse urine which makes males irresistible to females.

Scientists at the University have identified a protein pheromone in mouse urine that is responsible for female attraction to particular male mice.

The pheromone ‘darcin’ – named by the researchers after Mr Darcy, Jane Austen’s hero in Pride and Prejudice – stimulates females to learn an individual male’s scent, reinforcing their memory of sexual attraction to that same male.

Studying these chemicals can lead to breakthroughs in pest control to reduce the economic impact of rodent-mediated damage to food, buildings and the transmission of disease which run to many billions of pounds worldwide each year.

To see the other nine great advances, visit the University’s news pages during National Science and Engineering Week (14-23 March).

If you want to find out more about current research in this area at the University of Liverpool, visit the Institute of Integrative Biology website, or go to our study pages to find out more about studying zoology.

Ten Great Discoveries


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