Summary/reaction to "Surroundings and Evolution Shape Human Sight, Smell and Taste"

by rachellavoie on October 30, 2017 - 9:29pm

Our senses are undeniably of the utmost importance in our lives, since they allow us to connect not only with our environment, but also with each other. It is well-known that over centuries, human’s sight has evolved as we started living in a less primitive state. In fact, according to researchers of the 2017 AAAS Annual Meeting in Boston, all three of our sight, smell and taste change depending on the environment we’re in. It was said that although sight problems are genetic, things like artificial lights and “near-work task” affect noticeably our visual acuity. In the same way, our sense of smell – which can be quite useful in survival – can be tempered by the polluted air of urban centers. Moreover, these searchers also found out that the reason why certain species enjoy different tastes is based on our environment and the resources available.


From my point of view, the result of these researches should be used to encourage people to change some of their sedentary habits, which are clearly affecting everyone in a negative way; for instance, these same studies have shown that spending only 40 minutes outside everyday could reduce of 25%-50% the chances of developing myopia. Then again, people living near factories are at greater risks of altering their sense of smell because of air pollution. Such statistics, if only they were known by the population, could definitely motivate many to fight even more actively against causes like greenhouse gas emission or renewable energy, since we are personally affected by these events.


All thing considered, I really enjoyed this article (  and would recommended to everyone. It really opened my eyes on the importance of our surroundings, our daily routine and the influence of all of those things in abilities that I thought were strictly genetic and couldn’t legitimately be diminished. If only, even though it wasn’t the official report of the researche, I found that the author of the article (Andrea Korte)could have included a little more statistic or numbers from the actual report that would have made the whole thing even more real.


Very impressive Rachel! Keep up the good work!

Thank you Maxime !! I hope I opened your eyes on this really important issue.

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