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Thread: Why we like what we like: A scientist’s surprising findings

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    Default Why we like what we like: A scientist’s surprising findings

    BILL SULLIVAN
    AUGUST 6, 2019

    Your genes, your germs, and your environment all may influence your tastes in food—as well as partners and politics.

    THERE MAY BE nothing more self-defining than our tastes. Whether in food, wine, romantic partners, or political candidates, our tastes represent our identity. So it made sense to me that my likes and dislikes were formed through careful deliberation and rational decision-making—that is, through choices where I wielded some control.
    Then I became acquainted with Toxoplasma gondii. In my research at the Indiana University School of Medicine, I observed how the single-celled T. gondii parasite can change the behavior of the host it infects. It can make rats unafraid of cats, and some studies show that it may cause personality changes (such as increased anxiety) in humans.

    Keep reading: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/s...sing-findings/


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    Moderator Julieanne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why we like what we like: A scientist’s surprising findings

    Interesting. When I was a child, I refused to eat bacon or parsley, but as an adult I love both! How do you explain that?

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    Default Re: Why we like what we like: A scientist’s surprising findings

    Many taste preferences seem to undergo a change as one reaches adulthood. As a child I would gag on liver, and really disliked asparagus. Today I truly enjoy liver as long as it's not cooked to the consistency of an old kerosene can run over by a truck. Lightly browned in bacon fat on both sides and deep pink in the middle, it's tender and delicious: perfection! As for asparagus, all I ever had as a child was the canned product. When I tasted it fresh, as an adult, I ran right out and dug up an asparagus bed!
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    Veteran Member Mr. Wizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why we like what we like: A scientist’s surprising findings

    Very informative!! Armed with the facts presented in this article, I now fear my son was a "supertaster?" Wish I hadn't forced him to eat veggies, especially broccoli. Also, I found it fascinating to learn that "generally" the fear center of the brain (the amygdala) tends to be larger for conservatives and smaller for liberals. So there may be genetic, physiological reasons why people of different ideologies find it hard to compromise. I became a little concerned when the author--himself a geneticist and microbiologist--suggested that gene altering techniques (re. CRISPR) now offer opportunities to change our genetic makeup. I don't want to see the day when gene altering is done to change someone's taste buds.

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    Default Re: Why we like what we like: A scientist’s surprising findings

    I don't want t see the day when gene altering is done to humans, period. But I know it's coming...
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    Veteran Member Mr. Wizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why we like what we like: A scientist’s surprising findings

    ""Train has left the station!!"" In Oct. 2018, a woman gave birth to twins based on a genetically altered embryo, thanks to Dr. He Jiankui (a Chinese, U.S. educated doctor). We had quite a discussion here at HH on this matter. Based on my recent research, the global medical community, which feigned outrage, has done little to reprimand Dr. He and the Stanford professor who mentored him.
    Read more here: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/14/h...ng-babies.html

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    Default Re: Why we like what we like: A scientist’s surprising findings

    Oh yes, I do indeed remember. The NYTimes story makes sense to me. "But she said scientists were not necessarily complicit if instead of trying to stop rogue experimenters, they advised them to follow ethical and research standards in hopes that institutions would intervene." At this stage, what more can an individual do? Institutions are a different story. Speaking of which, see this story in the Cancer forum: "In A 1st, Doctors In U.S. Use CRISPR Tool To Treat Patient With Genetic Disorder"
    ➤ Happiness is the frosting on the cake of contentment.

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