Evolution in Health and Disease

  • ISBN 9780199207466

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In this fully revised and updated edition, the editors have integrated a completely new set of contributions from the leading researchers in the field to describe the latest research in evolutionary medicine, providing a fresh summary of this rapidly expanding field 10 years after its predecessor was first compiled. It continues to adopt a broad approach to the subject, drawing on medically relevant research from evolutionary genetics, human behavioural ecology, evolutionary microbiology (especially experimental evolution of virulence and resistance), the evolution of aging and degenerative disease, and other aspects of biology or medicine where evolutionary approaches make important contributions. Evolution in Health and Disease describes how evolutionary thinking gives valuable insights and fresh perspectives into human health and disease, establishing evolutionary biology as an essential complementary science for medicine. Integrating evolutionary thought into medical research and practice helps to explain the origins of many medical conditions, including diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, asthma, allergies, other autoimmune diseases, and aging.
It also provides life-saving insights into the evolutionary responses of pathogens to antibiotics, vaccinations, and other human interventions. Why are we vulnerable to disease? Why are our bodies not better designed? Are unpleasant surprises in store as we use more antibiotics and vaccines? Why do we respond to inappropriately to so many modern conditions? How do cancers evolve? Why must we grow old? The book discusses answers to these and many other questions while suggesting new approaches to treatment and research. This research-level text is suitable for graduate-level students and researchers in the fields of evolutionary (Darwinian) medicine, evolutionary biology, anthropology, developmental biology, and genetics. It will also be of relevance and use to medical researchers and doctors.
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