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Diet epigenetically effects development of the primate brain

Posted on October 25, 2012 by James Kohl.

Discover Magazine:

Q: Why don’t apes have bigger brains? A: They can’t eat enough to afford them

Excerpt: “The raw jungle diet just doesn’t provide enough calories for apes to nourish brains larger than they already have.”

Excerpt: “Fonseca-Azevedo and Herculano-Houzel developed their argument using data on 17 species of primates, from the tiny common marmoset to the huge gorilla.”

My comment: I developed my argument using the molecular biology of adaptive evolution via ecological, social, neurogenic, and socio-cognitive niche construction in species from microbes to man. It is the common molecular biology that enables human brain development as exemplified in the honeybee model organism.

The concept that is extended [BY ME] is the epigenetic tweaking of immense gene networks in ‘superorganisms’ (Lockett, Kucharski, & Maleszka, 2012) that ‘solve problems through the exchange and the selective cancellation and modification of signals (Bear, 2004, p. 330)’. It is now clearer how an environmental drive probably evolved from that of food ingestion in unicellular organisms to that of socialization in insects. It is also clear that, in mammals, food odors and pheromones cause changes in hormones such as LH, which has developmental affects on sexual behavior in nutrient-dependent, reproductively fit individuals across species of vertebrates.

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James Kohl
Retired medical laboratory scientist

James Kohl




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