Bitterness on the Brain
by: Alex Baryiames, Cassie Daisy, Mohini Patel & Olivia Peterson (Stonehill College Evolution Fall 2017)
Eating something bitter isn’t a great experience. The moment the taste hits your mouth can be an unpleasant one, and often causes you to avoid that particular food in the future. In an effort to understand this phenomenon, researchers discovered that the ability to detect these bitter tastes might have some evolutionary benefits! Read on to discover how the ability of vertebrates to detect bitter tastes can be a protective mechanism against toxic materials, and greatly contributes to our survival!
Continue reading “Bitterness on the Brain”
The Evolution of PMS
by: Lydia Blodgett, Alexandra Calafiore, Rachel O’Donnell (Stonehill College Evolution Fall 2017)
Premenstrual syndrome, commonly known as PMS, affects the majority of women and can cause an array of unwanted symptoms. Although up to 80% of women are affected by the symptoms of PMS, not much is known about exactly why it began and continues to happen in humans. Our podcast, “Evolution of PMS”, attempts to highlight the evolutionary basis of PMS. Using Michael Gillings’ article, “Were there evolutionary advantages to premenstrual syndrome?”, as a foundation, we explore the idea that the persistence of PMS is an outcome of its selective advantage to women. Although PMS has previously been considered maladaptive—with severe forms being classified as a diagnosable mental disorder—-Gillings proposes three main hypotheses that there are reproductive advantages for its persistence throughout evolutionary history.
Listen Now: Continue reading “The Evolution of PMS”