By: Adam Ziegler, Matthew Papp, Shivam Gandhi, Nikolas Steege, Bio323 Evolution, Fall 2019, Stonehill College
Let’s face it, we all sweat. Despite sweat being such a common and
prominent aspect of everyday life, not many people understand what
causes sweating, or why not all mammals sweat. A recent paper explored
the difference in human sweat compared to other primates from compiled
data sets across three phylogenetic models. The research focused on the
two glands that are primarily involved in sweating, the apocrine and
eccrine glands. By combining glycogen concentration, climate, and
distribution of glands, the authors were able to predict the eccrine
gland ancestral relationship. The results show exactly how humans have
come to evolve the current gland distribution and offer a previously
unstudied insight into our ancestors.
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.