Could a nasal shot of hormones make a person more compassionate and less socially awkward? Thats the thinking behind new research from scientists at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York. Psychiatrist Eric Hollander and psychologist Jennifer Bartz found that inhaling oxytocin, a hormone that occurs naturally in the body, could alleviate the more debilitating symptoms of autism: an inability to recognize emotion, a failure to connect with the world, and a tendency toward repetitive, obsessive behaviors. Children with autism have low blood levels of oxytocin, which could explain their poor social skills. The work could help not only the one in 150 children afflicted by the illness in the U.S. but also perhaps the millions of people who suffer from social phobias.