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... the rapid spread of a gene which lets us reap the benefits of milk shows evolution in action. ... In order to digest milk, adult humans need to have a gene which produces an enzyme called lactase to break down lactose, one of the main sugars it contains. Without it, a drink of milk proves an uncomfortable experience, causing bloating, stomach cramps and diarrhoea. Today, more than 90% of people of northern European origin have the gene.


 human evolution milk digestion
In fact, there are more genes in the flora in the intestinal system than the rest of our bodies. So many that they are being dubbed our "second genome".


 genome microorganism human body biology genetics nutrition digestion intestine
A traditional Japanese diet could transfer the genes of "sushi-specific" digestive enzymes into the human gut.


 Japan food digestion sushi enzyme gut genetics intestine
Scientists have used the latest imaging techniques to look inside a python that had just swallowed a rat whole. The resulting footage is part of a project using hi-tech scanning methods to explore animals' anatomy. It took 132 hours for snake to fully digest the rat, the scientists said. Their work has revealed other strange insights into python digestion.


 python snake rart digestion fasting scan
The teeming trillions of bacteria in the digestive tracts of mice have been shown to affect the animals' brain development and behaviour. Mice bred in sterile environments without these "gut flora" were seen to be more adventurous and less anxious than mice with normal gut flora. The research adds weight to the idea that gut bacteria are a critical part of the overall development of mammals.


 parasite symbiosis gut microorganism digestion health bacteria behaviour cohabitation