Women who wear too much perfume may be depressed. Researcher Yehuda Shoenfeld says, “Our scientific findings suggest that women who are depressed are also losing their sense of smell, and may overcompensate by using more perfume.” And people who gossip about them? They’re taking part in a form of verbal mutual grooming that has been vital to the evolution of humanity.

In LiveScience.com, Dave Mosher reports that when researchers used chemicals to turn off the smell receptors in depressed mice, they lost weight, and weight loss is one of the first signs of depression. Shoenfeld thinks that physicians should use their sense of smell, as well as their eyesight, to diagnose their patients. Mosher quotes him as saying, “We are aware of all the senses, but have neglected smell for a long time.”

In order to be sociable, primates groom each other’s fur. Do we share nasty information about other people instead? In LiveScience.com, Meredith F. Small reports that primatologist Robin Dunbar thinks that gossip holds human groups together. She writes: “Many other primates, such as baboons, live in big groups and they use grooming as a social tool to make, keep or break social connections. But during our evolutionary history?human groups became way too large and no one had the time to groom everyone they needed. Gossip, or talk about each other, then replaced grooming as a social glue among humans.” So Dunbar doesn’t think gossip is always bad.

You don’t have to resort to gossip?if you subscribe today, you can chat instead! We just had a DELIGHTFUL chat with Nick Redfern and will have another wonderful chat with prophet John Hogue on January 26.

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

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