A matter of taste

A matter of taste: the interactions of genes and culture in human evolution by Davide Risso (Alma Mater Studiorum – Università di Bologna / National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, USA)

Hundreds of genes involved in the expression of human–specific characteristics are supposed to have undergone natural selection in response to changes of cultural habits and practices. Cultural determinants have been invoked to explain adaptive selection for some of these genes. One aspect of great interest is the co-evolution of taste: the main sense driving our preference for food. The seminar will present a brief introduction about the incredible journey of Homo sapiens, with a particular focus on the evolution of human taste. Finally, some results regarding the investigation of taste-related genes variability will also be discussed.