Worms learn: If something makes you sick, don't eat it again. Researchers at Rockefeller University have found that worms can learn to avoid substrates scented with bacteria that have made them ill in the past.1 The neuro-transmitter serotonin, which mediates nausea and food aversions in humans, appears to control this aversion.
Researchers in Cori Bargmann's lab raised
Serotonin appears to mediate which scent
This serotonin-based system detection system is found in nearly every animal studied so far, says Columbia University neuroscientist Michael Gershon. In humans, most serotonin is made in cells lining the intestines, not in the brain, he says. When released, serotonin induces the queasiness we associate with intestinal distress.