Web edition: February 8, 2013
Pheromones work as messengers between individuals. They can make other members of the same species change how they behave or how they mature.
Scientists are still learning about these chemical messages, including how several species sometimes copy those pheromones for devious purposes. For example, some researchers have identified plants that mimic insect pheromones to attract the bugs. Not surprisingly, people also have learned to harness pheromones to deceive destructive pests — sometimes luring bugs to their deaths.Still unknown: whether people release pheromones — and how others might respond to such secret chemical signals.