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April 03, 2005

Love Potion Number 9

My blogfather, Joe Katzman sent me this oxytocin link. Lots of good stuff there! Recently we have talked about the neural-hormonal cascades involved in Dr. Helen Fisher's three kinds of love, here, here, and here. I thought about this in the context of Ramez Naam's excellent new book, More Than Human.
Ramez sez (pg. 55):

In the next few decades, this accumulated knowledge base could be used to create new drugs that sculpt or alter any aspect of human behavior: infatuation, empathy, pair bonding, appetite, spirituality, thrill-seeking, arousal, even sexual orientation.....The next step-- a step tens of millions of consumers will pay for...

What do you think, dear readers, would be the first commercial result of this technology that consumers would pay big bucks for? A love philtre? An aphrodisiac? Something to make someone fall into romantic love with you? Or lust? Something to keep your spouse faithful and happy? Or an antidote for the wrenching pangs of unrequited or unresolved romantic love?

Hard to say. But given the success of viagra-like compounds, drugs about sex will be very popular, and may be among the first transhuman technologies to hit the market.

Gentlemen, start your patents. ;)

Posted by jinnderella at 04:14 AM