Supersize Me.

Science Daily reports on researchers at the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig who discovered that McDonald’s makes us supermen:

The researchers fed laboratory mice one of three diets: a raw fruit and vegetable diet fed to chimpanzees in zoos, a human diet consisting of food served at the Institute cafeteria or a pure fast food menu from the local McDonald’s™ (the latter caused the mice to significantly gain weight). The chimpanzee diet was clearly distinct from the two human diets in its effect on the liver – thousands of differences were observed in the levels at which genes were expressed in the mouse livers. No such differences were observed in the mouse brains. A significant fraction of the genes that changed in the mouse livers, had previously been observed as different between humans and chimpanzees. This indicates that the differences observed in these particular genes might be caused by the difference in human and chimpanzee diets.

Furthermore, the diet-related genes also appear to have evolved faster than other genes – protein and promoter sequences of these genes changed faster than expected, possibly because of adaptation to new diets.

In other words, cooked meat might have caused the mutations that made humans evolve into something other than apes. Well, either that or it’s a step toward making our livers break down, but hey, everything’s a trade-off. You can peruse the original research at PLoS One.