Crying while cutting onions

The body sensors that bring tears in your eyes when you’re cutting onions have been around for 500 million years, says a new study.

According to a report by Brandeis University scientists in Nature , whenever a person chokes on acrid cigarette smoke or feels like he/she is burning up from a mouthful of wasabi-laced sushi, the response is triggered by a primordial chemical sensor conserved across some 500 million years of animal evolution.

Such substances contain tissue-damaging and irritating chemicals. When you get a taste or waft of them, a protein found throughout your body is thought to sense these irritating chemicals and send signals to your nervous system. The result is pain, which results in the tears, reports Live Science.

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March 20, 2010. Uncategorized.

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