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Submission + - Onions Made Pre-Human Ancestors Cry Too (livescience.com)

Misanthrope writes: The sensors in your body that make you tear up when you're cutting onions have been around for 500 million years, a new study finds. A chemical-sensing protein, called TRAPA1 is present in almost all animals as a way to detect potentially damaging chemicals. The ability to detect such harmful compounds, known as reactive electrophiles, would have given animals an evolutionary advantage, as they'd be able to avoid potentially toxic food or dangerous situations.

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