Over at Seedmagazine.com, my new column “Research Blogging” debuted today. Every Wednesday I’ll be discussing what’s new in the research blogosphere, and this week I cover a fascinating post by Jeremy Yoder about lactose tolerance in adults. Here’s a sample:
The researchers say the lactase gene evolved in Europe because Europeans don’t get enough sun to produce Vitamin D, which in turn is needed for humans to take in calcium. Since lactose also assists in the uptake of calcium, adult milk drinking helped northern Europeans meet that deficiency.
Gerbault’s team developed a computer model demonstrating that, in order for the adaptation to persist, lactose-tolerant northern Europeans would need to have 1.8 percent more children. In other words, milk drinkers would need to be more successful in reproducing–and this is indeed what is observed there.
Read the whole thing here.
Also, in case you missed it, yesterday on ResearchBlogging.org, I highlighted some of the best psychology and neuroscience posts of the past week:
- DEET not so neurotoxic after all. The Neuroskeptic deflates an overhyped media frenzy.
- Happy people tolerate pain longer. A thoughtful post investigating the complex variables affecting pain perception.
- Women eat less when dining with men. A fascinating observational study confirming a long-held stereotype (at least for college students).
- Attractiveness ratings: Is a “10″ always a “10″? An investigative blog post about the difference in scientific studies of attractiveness versus “hot-or-not” web sites.