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Here's an activity: Get a lemon, peel it and keep a straight face while you eat the whole thing.
Could you do it? No, probably not. How is it that a fist-size fruit has the power to make you move your muscles against your will?
Scientists - Chance - Answer - Things - Protons
Scientists don't know for sure, but there's a good chance that the answer involves three things: protons, vitamin C and the tropical-fruit buffet our ancestors were enjoying back when they lived in trees. [Are Bananas Doomed?]
What is a Nerve Agent?
Taste - Relationship - Acidity - Chemical - Terms
The taste we know as "sour" has a direct relationship with acidity. In chemical terms, sourness is your taste buds saying "there are a lot of loose protons in your mouth right now!" Of course, protons aren't actually sour. Our bodies have evolved to interpret their properties as being sour, research shows.
In order to survive, humans need to eat ascorbic acid, also known as vitamin C. It's essential to keeping many of our cells and tissues functioning normally. Without enough of it, humans can get scurvy, a potentially fatal disease.
Thing - Creatures - Vitamin - C - Years
Here's the embarrassing thing: Most creatures can make their own vitamin C, but we can't. About 61 million years ago, the genes in mammals that coded for vitamin C synthesis mutated, according to a 2011 study in the journal Genetica. Back then, we had such easy access to dietary vitamin C that the mutation...
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