My grandfather, Harry, grandson of John Brady, used the expression, “I’m gonna have words with them”, about any difficult conversation. So the first episode of “On the Wagon” discusses the language of alcohol use. Includes bad jokes about paleogenetic info. Closed captions available with are good for all sorts of people, even those who struggle with Australian accents.
And as promised…a little about the research quoted (and yes, I said “synapses”, not synopsis, because I am hoping you’ll feed your brain!):
Citation: Evolution of hominid ethanol metabolism. Matthew A. Carrigan, Oleg Uryasev, Carole B. Frye, Blair L. Eckman, Candace R. Myers, Thomas D. Hurley, Steven A. Benner. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Jan 2015, 112 (2) 458-463; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1404167111
Significance of study: Many modern human diseases are attributed to incompatibility between our current environment and the environment for which our genome is adapted. It is unclear whether this model applies to alcoholism. We investigated this possibility by studying alcohol dehydrogenase class IV (ADH4), the first enzyme exposed to ethanol in the digestive tract that is capable of metabolizing ethanol. We resurrected ancestral ADH4 enzymes from various points in the ∼70 million y of primate evolution and identified a single mutation occurring ∼10 million y ago that endowed our ancestors with a markedly enhanced ability to metabolize ethanol. This change occurred approximately when our ancestors adopted a terrestrial lifestyle and may have been advantageous to primates living where highly fermented fruit is more likely.