The group of scientists believed that their experiment would reduce the hamsters ‘ aggressiveness . However, the opposite happened.
A group of scientists has pointed out that it turned hamsters into very aggressive animals after genetically modifying them.
Researchers at Georgia State University worked with vasopressin, a hormone associated with aggression, communication, and social bonding in both humans and hamsters.
Given this, they had the hypothesis that, if they eliminated it, this action would be eradicated from small rodents. They were wrong.
Not everything is in the genes
The scientists specifically chose Syrian hamsters , which are known for their aggressiveness, because “they provide a powerful model for studies of social behavior because their organization is much more similar to that of humans than that observed in mice.”
The team was surprised to find that their attempts to ward off aggression in the genetically modified hamsters made them more aggressive, but also more social.
“We anticipated that if we eliminated vasopressin activity, we would reduce both aggression and social communication,” GSU neuroscience researcher H. Elliott Albers said in a statement. “But the opposite happened.”
These “conflicting” findings have suggested “a surprising conclusion,” Albers said in the statement: that neural receptors and the behaviors with which they are associated may not be able to turn on and off individually.