Antennae and the human nose
March 19, 2014 | James Kohl
Human pheromones and food odors: epigenetic influences on the socioaffective nature of evolved behaviors. Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology, 2: 17338.
Conclusion: “Socioaffective neuroscience and psychology may progress more quickly by keeping these apparent facts in mind: Olfaction and odor receptors provide a clear evolutionary trail that can be followed from unicellular organisms to insects to humans…”
See: Odor memories regulate olfactory receptor expression in the sensory periphery[subscription required], reported as
Excerpt: “Bees’ antennae function like a human nose…”
Excerpt from the conclusion:
“What is the behavioral relevance of this plasticity? The improved representations mediated by the training can account for discrimination accuracy and reaction time stability across a wide range of odorant dilutions. The observed increase in the sensitivity at higher dilutions of odorants tested should lower the odorant detection thresholds in mice. Interestingly, in human olfaction, trained wine tasters show lower detection thresholds and an increase in the perceived odorants intensity compare to healthy non-trained subjects (Marino-Sanchez et al., 2010; Tempere et al., 2011). Although the effect of the plasticity reported in our study lasted for 5 weeks, this enhanced representation may be lasting for longer even with brief repetitive training and may account for the long lasting perception abilities seen in professional wine tasters.
Irrespective of the molecular mechanisms, our study provides physiological evidence for the existence of a functional plasticity at the sensory periphery, which helped the animal to achieve fast and accurate odor discriminations.”
My comment: This physiological evidence forces others to acknowledge, consider and respect the molecular mechanisms. Nothing occurs irrespective of molecular mechanisms. Thus, adding evidence of biophysically constrained receptor-mediated ecological adaptations completes the model of biologically-based cause and effect that links ecological variation to ecological adaptations in species from microbes to man via conserved molecular mechanisms.
Conserved molecular mechanisms link the function of the bees’ antennae and the human nose from nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled epigenetic effects to the physical landscape of DNA in the organized genomes of species from microbes to man. Thus, there is no longer any need for biologists to cautiously report experimental evidence in terms of evolutionary theory or in models of adaptive evolution. Academically irresponsible reports about mutations and evolution will soon be removed by molecular biologists from any further consideration whatsoever.
Experimental evidence has confirmed that conserved molecular mechanisms exist and accurate models of cause and effect have explained how ecological variation results in species diversity via ecological adaptations. Therefore, as Darwin politely insisted, species diversity must finally be viewed in the context of his ‘conditions of life.’
Conditions of life are nutrient-dependent and pheromone-controlled. See for example: Nutrient-dependent/pheromone-controlled adaptive evolution: a model. Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology, 3: 20553.
There is no experimental evidence of adaptive evolution or evolved behaviors. There is only experimental evidence that ecological variation results in ecological adaptations via ecological, social, neurogenic and socio-cognitive niche construction. Niche construction does not evolve. At every level, it results from conserved molecular mechanisms, and niche construction is manifested in the increasing organismal complexity of species from microbes to man.
Therefore, it is time to place theories into the context of biological facts, which are supported by physiological evidence. It is past time to stop ongoing attempts to make the biological facts fit into biologically implausible theories, which have never been ecologically validated with experimental evidence of cause and effect.
Simply put, it is time for theorists to quit making stuff up and teaching others to believe that it is something more than pseudoscientific theory. Ask your favorite theorist if niche construction is required for species diversity. Then ask: How do mutations enable niche construction? SOMEHOW is not an acceptable answer given what is currently known about epigenetic cause and effect.