Scientists trace the boozing gene: Taste for drink ‘originated 10million years ago in common ancestor of humans and chimps’

February 25, 2013

now explain the Irish?

Here's to those who came before us... Scientists have traced the ability to metabolise alcohol back to a gene first found in the common ancestor humans share with gorillas and chimpanzees(DailyMail.co.uk)The boozing gene can be traced back 10million years to the common ancestor humans share with chimpanzees and gorillas, new research claims.
It is believed these ancient forebears were the first to pick up fruits fermenting on the ground after they developed a lifestyle away from the trees.
Individuals able to stomach the boozy fruit would have survived better in this new environment than those who could not, programming the ability into their descendants’ genetic codes.

Here’s to those who came before us… Scientists have traced the ability to metabolise alcohol back to a gene first found in the common ancestor humans share with gorillas and chimpanzees

The theory could explain why humans, chimps and gorillas are able to digest alcohol, while our tree-dwelling cousins like orangutans cannot.
Chemist Steven Benner of the Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution in Gainesville, Florida, came to the conclusion after he ‘resurrected’ the alcohol-metabolising enzymes of extinct primates.
By estimating the enzymes’ genetic code, they rebuilt them in the lab and then analysed how they worked to understand how they have changed over time.
Biochemist Romas Kazlauskas of the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, told Science News: ‘It’s like a courtroom re-enactment.
‘Benner can re-enact what happened in evolution.’

To break down alcohol in the body, modern humans rely on an enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase 4, or ADH4, which is found throughout the aesophagus, stomach and intestines.
However, not all ADH4s are the same, meaning some species of primate can effectively metabolise ethanol while others are unable to.
To understand why, researchers mapped the DNA sequences that make up ADH4 in 27 species of modern primate on a primate family tree to infer how the enzyme looked at points on the tree where branches separated.
Their findings showed most primate ancestors would have been unable to metabolise alcohol, but at the branching point leading to gorillas, chimps and humans the enzyme emerged as a powerful alcohol digester.
This enzyme was nearly 50 times more efficient at digesting alcohol than earlier versions, Dr Benner reported. That made it nearly capable or breaking down the alcohol found in modern alcoholic drinks.

Lightweights: The findings could explain why tree-dwelling primates like orang-utans (pictured) are less able to metabolise alcohol, since fruits are less likely to ferment while still hanging on a branch

Lightweights: The findings could explain why tree-dwelling primates like orang-utans (pictured) are less able to metabolise alcohol, since fruits are less likely to ferment while still hanging on a branch

He concluded that it must have been the result of the early primate’s descent from the trees where it came across fruits lying on the ground.
If these fruits had damaged skins, yeast could have invaded them and fermented their sugars, turning them into ethanol.
Any primates unable to digest the fermented fruits would have died before passing on their genes, but those who could would have passed the boozing gene on to their offspring.
Dr Benner believes his findings could explain why land-loving primates like humans and gorillas can metabolise alcohol, but tree dwellers like orangutans, which rarely encounter fermented fruit, cannot.
He presented his findings at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science on Friday.


Chimpanzees give birth ‘like humans’ …and you probably don’t want to see this

April 22, 2011
so the real news here is… no one wanted to see this before. this isn’t political… this doesn’t prove anything… beyond… ich… gross


Bonobo society is, not only female-centered but also appears to be female-dominated.

March 13, 2011
In a primate
where there is no monogamy
the burden of raising children
is on the women. 
What does that tell you
about single mothers?

there are no indications that bonobos form
humanlike nuclear families. 
The burden of raising offspring appears
to rest entirely on the female’s shoulders.
In fact, nuclear families are probably incompatible
with the diverse use of sex found in bonobos.
If our ancestors started out with a sex life
similar to that of bonobos,
the evolution of the family
would have required dramatic change.


Democratic Party Explained!
“It does seem to be relatively
widespread in primates
(we have a paper just out online in
International Journal of Primatology
showing it occurs in
wild golden-backed uacaris),”
biologist Gareth Jones
of the University of Bristol in England
wrote in an e-mail to LiveScience.
“The exciting thing is that scientists are now
exploring potential evolutionary reasons
for its occurrence.”
Besides uacaris, masturbatory
behavior has been
studied in rhesus monkeys,
gray-cheeked mangabeys monkeys,
colobus monkeys,
Japanese macaques and other animals.
“It does seem to be relatively
widespread in primates
(we have a paper just out online in
International Journal of Primatology
showing it occurs in
wild golden-backed uacaris),”
biologist Gareth Jones of the
University of Bristol in England
wrote in an e-mail to livescience.com
“The exciting thing…
is that scientists are now exploring
potential evolutionary reasons
for its occurrence.”
Besides uacaris,
masturbatory behavior
has been
studied in
rhesus monkeys,
gray-cheeked mangabeys monkeys,
colobus monkeys,
Japanese macaques
and other animals.
via
noahdavidsimon’s posterous



…………….Here is some background into the researcher:
My own interest in bonobos came not from an inherent
fascination with their charms but from research on
aggressive behavior in primates. I was particularly
intrigued with the aftermath of conflict. After two
chimpanzees have fought, for instance, they may come
together for a hug and mouth-to-mouth kiss. Assuming that
such reunions serve to restore peace and harmony, I labeled
them reconciliations.

Any species that combines close bonds with a potential for
conflict needs such conciliatory mechanisms. Thinking how much faster marriages would break up if people had no way of compensating for hurting each other, I set out to investigate such mechanisms in several primates, including
bonobos. Although I expected to see peacemaking in these apes, too, I was little prepared for the form it would take.

sexual activity is the bonobo’s
answer to avoiding conflict.

If a male bonobo tried to harass a female, all females would band together to chase him off. Because females appeared more successful in dominating males when they were together than on their own, their close association and frequent genital rubbing may represent an alliance. Females may bond so as to outcompete members of the individually stronger sex.  via songweaver.com

the reason is because the females want power.  right? 
is it all right to ask that question?