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Tuesday, February 10, 2015


glass of beer

Our Taste for Alcohol Goes Back Millions of Years

Genetics research sheds light on a long human relationship

A poison we adapted to tolerate

Credit: Thinkstock
Alcohol has been part of human existence for millennia. Alcoholic beverages are an integral part of human culture. Like the wines consumed in Jewish and Christian rituals, these drinks have ceremonial and religious uses. Until the nineteenth century, beer, brandy, rum or grog was the drink of choice for sailors in lieu of stagnant water during long voyages. Alcohol is a social lubricant, an anesthetic and an antiseptic. It is one of the most widely used drugs in the world and has been manufactured since the advent of agriculture nearly 9000 years ago.  How is it that this drug — an intoxicating poison — has become such a part of human existence?/.../

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