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It Takes a Genome: How a Clash Between Our Genes and Modern Life Is Making Us Sick by Greg Gibson

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A Kindling Theory in the Modern World

The final piece of the puzzle is to realize that the mechanisms that regulate mood have been exquisitely fine-tuned and genetically buffered, or canalized, ever since the dawn of animals. All the major brain signaling mechanisms, including serotonin, dopamine, and a half dozen others, are in place and working pretty much the same way in flies, pythons, and piranhas. I’m not sure what a depressed python or a manic piranha looks like, but just like us, their mood is regulated within strict bounds that enable the animal to function, and it would not surprise me if some of these animals also have mental health problems.

The buffering is the key here. Just like blood glucose levels that rise and fall with the ...

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