My ebook: Journeys with the caterpillar

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Journeys with the caterpillar: Travelling through the islands of Flores
and Sumba, Indonesia
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Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Have trust, will spray oxytocin

I came across an article in this week's Economist that a swiss research team has found statistical evidence to suggest that a chemical oxytocin, if sprayed nasally, increases the level of trust. Oxytocin is a peptide hormone also responsible for stimulating childbirth and lactation among it's various other uses.
So what could be the possible uses of this finding? Currently Oxytocin is easy and cheap to produce. So will we have one Ambani brother spraying the other with oxytocin before their split negotiations? Will marriage counsellors spray couples before discussing marital discord? Imagine the Israelis and Palestinians negotiating a peace deal in a room sprayed with oxytocin. Or for that matter the Indians and Pakistanis. The US may like to spray the whole of Iraq with Oxytocin. Of course oxytocin effect is not going to be permanent and people may resume their discord once the effect of the hormone is over. But with time, one would be surely able to develop sustained-release oxytocin (sustained release drugs are those that once taken are released to the body system gradually).
Even then, people would like to take safeguards so that they are not very trustful. So researchers would possibly work for vaccines against oxytocin. Politicians would probably take antidotes to oxytocin before going to meetings.
I believe that once these research results are validated, oxytocin would be most helpful in getting justice. Suspects of any crime can be sprayed with oxytocin before taking their statements. All the same, beware if you suddenly feel trusting towards somebody.

P.S: For more information on oxytocin please read Nature, Economist and Medline Plus


Krish said...

Hi, I saw your comment at Kiruba's site and came here to see if these were commercials that I could identify with so that I can vote but looks like these are not even the ones that I can see here in the US (since I have SunTV here and even in Chennai not many of the ads you mentioned can be seen). Would you like to include more non-region specific ads and by that I mean an absence of Hindi in the ad so that more people who would have seen the Indian ads in English can vote? Thanks.

Team Grind said...

That seems a little out of this world.