Genetic therapy can turn promiscuous meadow voles into monogamous homebodies.
Researchers in Atlanta used a virus to transfer the vasopressin receptor gene from prairie voles into their meadow cousins.
They found the formerly promiscuous rodents spent more time cuddling with their current partners rather than with new females, compared to control animals.
The experimental meadow voles also spent more time with their pups and less time grooming themselves, the researchers said in Thursday’s issue of the journal Nature.
Prairie voles are models of fidelity in the vole world.